Winners and Finalists of the 2021 Emerging Poet Prize


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.

The Finalists

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”

The Longlist

Maya Owen
Saúl Hernández
Troy Osaki
Amanda Shu
Jeff Whitney
Jerico Lenk
Kathleen Goldblatt
Khalisa Rae
Loisa Fenichell
syan jay
Aaron Fischer
Carol Dahmen
Dominika Wrozynski
Gauri Awasthi
Laura Lauth
Liza Sparks
Marisa Webster
Stephanie Niu
Whittney Jones
Bethany Swann
Damneet Kaur
Derek Otsuji
Génoa Yanez-Alaniz
Gerald Moore
Leslie McIntosh
Marie-Louise Eyres
Melissa Ferrer-Civil
Siew David Hii
Tara Tulshyan
Anastasiia Denysenko
Jana Russ
John Scariano
Joshua A. Merchant
Karin Lightstone
Linda Franklin
Majdoline Azzi
Michael Madigan
Mihee Kim
Neysa King
Steven Vigil-Roach
Sara Moore Wagner