Winners of the 2020 Emerging Poet Prize!


We are honored to share with everyone the winners, finalists, and longlist of the 2020 Emerging Poet Prize, selected by Ilya Kaminsky!

A big thank you to everyone who submitted this year. It was a pleasure and a joy—you’ve all made our team all better poets by sharing your work with us. 

Winners of the 2020 Emerging Poet Prize

1st — A.D. Lauren-Abunassart, for “The Immigration Pastoral” (to be published on August 19th, 2020)

A.D. Lauren-Abunassar is an Arab-American writer who resides in Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Narrative, The Moth, Cincinnati Review, Diode, Radar, and elsewhere. She was a 2019 Narrative Poetry Contest finalist, a Narrative 30 Below 30 Finalist, the winner of the 2019 Boulevard Emerging Writers Award and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.


2nd — Mikko Harvey, for “Let the World Have You” (to be published on August 12th, 2020)

Mikko Harvey is the author of Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit (House of Anansi, 2018). His poems appear in places such as Gulf Coast, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2019. He currently works as a writer for an immigration law firm and lives in Ithaca, New York.


3rd — Akosua Zimba Afiriyie-Hwedie, for “Provenance” (to be published on August 5th, 2020)

Akosua Zimba Afiriyie-Hwedie is a Zambian-Ghanaian poet who grew up in Botswana. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan. She is a Hopwood and Meader Family Award winner as well as a finalist of: The Brunel International African Poetry Prize, The Palette Poetry Spotlight Award, The Furious Flower Poetry Prize and Wick Poetry Center’s Peace Poem contest. Akosua has received fellowships from Callaloo and the Watering Hole. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in: Obsidian, Birdcoat Quarterly, Wildness, Bettering American Poetry, WusGood?, and The Felt. She is currently working on her first poetry collection.


The Finalists of the 2020 Emerging Poet Prize

Alan Fang, for “follow the pen”
Nadine Marshall, for ” Abecedarian on Dysphoria”
Shelby Handler, for ” We Will Outlive Them”
Michael Weinstein, for “Drought Pastoral”
Kemi Alabi, for “The Lonely Sleep Through Winter ”
E Yeon 이연, for “E Yeon Chang is drunk. E Yeon Chang is missing”
Keith Wilson, for “Muse”


The Longlist Nominees

Taylor Byas
Celeste McMaster
Alex Chertok
Bryan Byrdlong
McKenzie Chinn
Donte Collins
Anthony Thomas Lombardi
Mary Christensen
Carolann Caviglia Madden
Sarah Matthes
Julio Cesar Villegas
Wale Ayinla
Hannah Perrin King
Mag Gabbert
Carolann Caviglia Madden
Zachariah Claypole White
Karl Sherlock
Alexandra Dreyzin
McKenzie Chinn
Adedayo Agarau
Laboni Islam
Sara Elkamel
Vanesa Arostegui
Kerry Rawlinson
Dorsey Craft
Mandy Gutmann-Gonzalez
Theresa Tran
Patrick Errington
Susanna Clark
Nicholas Cialini
Arkaye Kierulf
Emily Hyland
Maia Elsner
Zach Linge
Robyn Maree Pickens
Monique Gagnon German
Melissa Studdard
Deborah Birch
Ryan Vine
Thapedi Langa
Margaret Zhang
Anthony Okpunor
Anne Casey
Craig Brandis
Laura Roth
Grace Wagner