We are honored to share with everyone the winners, finalists, and longlist of the 2021 Emerging Poet Prize! This year’s winners were selected by Kelli Russell Agodon. Immense gratitude to all who shared their stunning poems with us—we are better poets for having spent time with your work!
Winners of the 2021 Emerging Poet Prize
1st & $3000— Crystal Valentine for “Black Madonna” (to be published on July 12, 2021)
Crystal Valentine is a queer, Black woman from the Bronx now residing in Boston, Massachusetts. A former New York City Youth Poet Laureate and two-time winner of the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational, Crystal has been offered fellowships from Callaloo, Tin House and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic Anthology (Haymarket Books), Muzzle Magazine, TriQuarterly Magazine, Winter Tangerine and elsewhere. She received an MFA from New York University and is the festival manager for the Massachusetts Poetry Festival.
2nd & $300— Christine Poreba, for “Slipped Stitches“ (to be published on July 13, 2021)
Christine Poreba’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Subtropics, The Southern Review, and The Sun Magazine, and various anthologies. Her first book, Rough Knowledge, was awarded the Philip Levine Prize. After spending many years in North Florida, she now lives in Chicago with her husband and son.
3rd & $200— Serrina Zou, for “The Present of Poetry” (to be published on July 14, 2021)
Serrina Zou is a Chinese-American writer from San Jose, California. She has been recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, the Poetry Society of the UK, and Frontier Poetry, among others. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Cosmonauts Avenue, AAWW: The Margins, COUNTERCLOCK Journal, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. When she is not writing, Serrina can be found feeding her Philz Coffee addiction or devouring a tower of novels. She will attend Columbia University in the fall of 2021.
Julia McDaniel for “End Note”
Harley Anastasia Chapman, for “When I Say My Father is Homeless”
Tea Gerbeza for “Clearing Up the Question…”
Jake Bailey for “Three Horses”
Jozie Konczal for “signed, Demeter”
Katie Bickham for “The Most Necessary Things”
Noel Quiñones for “Screech”
Siew David Hii
Joshua A. Merchant
Sara Moore Wagner