We are delighted to share the winners, finalists, and longlist for the 2023 Sappho Prize for Women Poets! Please help us congratulate these remarkable poets. Deep gratitude to all who shared poems with us—we are lucky to have been immersed in the worlds of your work. The winning poem and runner-ups were selected by Evie Shockley and will be published in the coming weeks.
Winners of the 2023 Sappho Prize
1st place — Para Vadhahong for “Learning English in the Margins of Masters”
Para Vadhahong hails from Bangkok, Thailand and has lived most recently in Houston, Roanoke, and Southwest Florida. Vadhahong’s poems are published in Kingdoms in the Wild, Hyacinth Review, Lover’s Eye Press, Ice Lolly Review, fifth wheel press, DVAN, Sine Theta, Honey Lit, and more. She earned a B.A. in English and Classics at Hollins University. She is a 2023 Brooklyn Poets fellow, and the winner of Salt Hill Journal’s Arthur Flowers Flash Fiction Prize, the Lex Allen Literary Festival’s Fiction Prize, and Hollins University’s Nancy Thorp Prize. Read more at paravadhahong.weebly.com.
2nd place — Lizabeth Yandel for “Confessional”
Originally from Chicago, Lizabeth Yandel is a writer, filmmaker, and musician based out of rural Oregon. She received her poetry MFA from UC Irvine and was awarded the 2022 University of California Graduate Prize for Excellence in Poetry. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Southern Review, Copper Nickel, Rattle, The American Journal of Poetry, Nashville Review, and The 2020 “Best of” Los Angeles Review. Her first screenplay was chosen as a semifinalist in the highly regarded Blue Cat Screenwriting Competition of 2022.
3rd place — Starr Davis for “COUNTERPETITIONER’S SUPPORTING AFFIDAVIT”
Starr Davis is a poet and essayist whose work has been featured in multiple literary venues such as The Kenyon Review, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, The Rumpus, and Catapult. She is a 2021–2022 PEN America Writing for Justice Fellow and the Creative Nonfiction Editor for TriQuarterly, and the Mama’s Writing Columnist for Raising Mothers. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the City College of New York and a BA in journalism and creative writing from the University of Akron. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in poetry and creative nonfiction, Best of the Net, and Best American Essays. She works as a poetry mentor and workshop facilitator for Brooklyn Poets.
C. R. Glasgow
C. Elliot Mullins
Peggy Ann Tartt