2023 Palette Chapbook Prize: Winners & Finalists


We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2023 Palette Chapbook Prize! Please help us congratulate Ava Chen and our finalists and longlisted poets. Deep gratitude to all who shared excellent chapbooks with us. The winning chapbook was selected by guest judge Danez Smith and will receive a $2000 award, free digital publication, and 50 complimentary physical copies in Fall 2024. 

Winner of the 2023 Palette Chapbook Prize

Ava Chen for Habitual Prayer

Ava Chen is a student writer from Massachusetts. The founding Editor-in-Chief of Sophon Lit and a Genre Managing Editor for Polyphony Lit, her writing has been recognized by The Adroit Prizes, Columbia College Chicago, The Poetry Society of the UK, and more. Ava’s poetry has also appeared in or is forthcoming with Diode, The Penn Review, and elsewhere. When not writing, you can find her taking very long walks or playing piano for her two pet turtles. She hopes you have a wonderful day.

Of the winning chapbook, Danez Smith said: 

Habitual Prayer seems like a fitting and off title all at once. Sure, these poems indeed are imbued with all power, intention, mystery, and beauty of prayer, but nothing is habitual, routine, or ordinary about how this poet approaches language. From the first poem where “too many dahlias/grow taller than angels” to the last where the poem proclaims “I expect blood/when I crack open/my wallet,” again and again in this brief but stunning collection i found myself tripping over language so fresh and wise, at times ancient and at times from from electric dreamy future, making new all the places we poets have looked to find out work: into death, into the garden, towards love, and into the mirror. “Habitual Prayer” has made me a fan of this poet’s magic, how they transfigure language into these precise, lush spells and invocations that unsettle me so. The greedy prayer I cast out to my gods: please, please, more of this, more from this poet.


Danez Smith named Dujie Tahat‘s chapbook AM I NOT OF THE SAME CUT STONE as the runner-up.



Post-Traumatic by Beatrice Lazarus


micro.climates by David Maduli

Grass Widow by Kathie Collins

Hindsight by Mack Rogers

Family Geography by Maggie Wolff

Tan’s Donuts by Maya Cheav

Aubade with Factory and Rain by Tatiana Gómez



Andy Lopez
Angela Chen
Autumn Newman
Bridget Kriner
Dallas Atlas
Dana Miller
Ed McManis
Hanna Webster
hanta t. samsa
Hayden Casey
James K. Zimmerman
Javier Sandoval
Jean Fineberg
John Glowney
Jonathan Carroll
Julia C. Alter
Linda Dove
Marie-Louise Eyres
Mildred Kiconco Barya
Partridge Boswell
Riya Basalt
Sheila Carter-Jones
Stephanie Dinsae
Suzannah Van Gelder
Wendy Haynes
Will Wood
Ziyi Yan