1st Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize


Judge: J. D. McClatchy

The winner of the first Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize was Morri Creech’s Field Knowledge.

Mr Creech, of Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA, received $3,000 and Waywiser will publish his collection on October 12th 2006.

There were more than 360 entries for last year’s contest, and it took the press’s screening panel three months of careful reading, deliberation and discussion to narrow the field, first to twenty semi-finalists, and then to ten finalists. The latter (stripped of all identifying references) were then sent to the 2005 judge, J.D. McClatchy (poet, editor of the Yale Review and the late Anthony Hecht’s literary executor), who, while acknowledging the considerable strengths of all ten, had no doubt about Field Knowledge‘s being the entirely deserving winner.

Our congratulations go not just to Mr Creech and to those whose manuscripts reached the later stages of the contest, but to everyone who entered. It is thanks to everyone who participated that this year’s contest has been such a resounding success.

It is the press’s hope, after the contest has been running for a while, to publish an anthology of poems by all of the contestants who have made it as far as the semi-finals. If you would like to read poems by the people who made it that far in the 2005 competition, click on the relevant name and title below. Each poet has a page featuring two of the poems from their manuscript and these are followed by brief biographical notes and publication acknowledgements.


Morri Creech, Field Knowledge


(in name order)

Josephine Abbott, Trying Not to Levitate

Peter Bethanis, The Man Who Ran Out of Metaphors

Ken Chen, Love Songs Not for Lee and Other Poems

Scott Coffel, Mild Worlds Elsewhere

Leigh Anne Couch, Houses Fly Away

Brian Culhane, The King’s Question

Jason Gray, Photographing Eden

Daniel Groves, The Lost Boys

Brent Hendricks, Everything

Pippa Little, Between One and None

Dennis Loney, Casualties of Conveyance

John Poch, Fifty-Two Reasons for Rising

Chris Preddle, Cattle Console Him

Belle Randall, The Faithful Lover

Andrew Sofer, The Whale Road

John Surowiecki, The Hat City after Men Stopped Wearing Hats

Bradford Gray Telford, The Gemstone Globe

Cody Walker, Shuffle and Breakdown

Lisa Williams, Hollow