2nd Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize


Judge: Mary Jo Salter

The winner of the second Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize was Erica Dawson’s Big-Eyed Afraid.

Ms Dawson, of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, received a cheque for $3,000 and Waywiser will publish Big-Eyed Afraid – her first collection – on November 11th 2007, when the book will be launched at Politics and Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse in Washington DC.

There were more than 450 entries for the 2006 contest – a 25% increase on 2005 – 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 2006 judge, Mary Jo Salter, who rang Ms Dawson with her decision on April 20th.

Our congratulations go not just to Ms Dawson and to those whose manuscripts reached the later stages of the contest – the finalists and semi-finalists are listed below – but to everyone else who entered. It is thanks to everyone who participated that the 2006 contest has been another resounding success.

If you would like to read two poems from each of the manuscripts which made it as far as the semi-finals, together with biographical notes on their authors, please click on the links below.

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’s.


Erica Dawson, Big-Eyed Afraid


(in name order)

Craig Arnold , Made Flesh

Bruce Berger, Snake Oil

Peter Bethanis, Make the World Marvelous

Scott Coffel, Mild Worlds Elsewhere

K. E. Duffin, Spolia

Gregory Crosby, The Court of Erros

Daniel Groves, The Lost Boys

Jamey Hecht, Limousine, Midnight Blue: Fifty Frames from the Zapruder Film

Holly Karapetkova, Deserts at Night

Aseem Kaul, Piano Burning

Jim Klein , I Didn’t Know if I Was Afoot or on Horseback

Julie Larios, A Quiet Day in the Arm and Leg Shop

Teresa Leo,The Halo Rule

Chris Preddle, Cattle Console Him

Bradford Gray Telford, Perfect Hurt

Barbara Louise Ungar, Origin of the Milky Way

Cody Walker, Shuffle and Breakdown

Jon Wilkins, Transistor Rodeo

Lisa Williams, Woman Reading to the Sea