4th Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize

anthony-hecth-prize-logo-4thJudge: Alan Shapiro

The winner of the fourth Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize was Carrie Jerrell’s After the Revival.

Ms Jerrell, of Lubbock, Texas, USA, will receive a cheque for $3,000 and Waywiser will publish After the Revival – her first collection – in the fall of 2009.

It took the press’s screening panel two 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 2008 judge, Alan Shapiro. Waywiser’s Senior American Editor Joe Harrison rang Ms Jerrell with Mr Shapiro’s decision in the middle of March.

Our congratulations go not just to Ms Jerrell 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 2008 contest has been another 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 2008 competition, please 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.


Carrie Jerrell, After the Revival


(in name order)

Bruce Berger, Snake Oil

Kimberley Burwick, The Norway Tree

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill, The Fox Bride

Andrew Cox, The Equation That Explains Everything

Anthony Deaton, Voice, Compass, Clay

Molly Fisk, The More Difficult Beauty

Melissa Ginsburg, Dear Weather Ghost

Martha Greenwald, Other Prohibited Items

Jaimee Hills, Symbolophobia

Elizabeth Klise von Zerneck, The Museum of Like and As

Michael Lee Phillips, The Man in the Barrel

Dora Malech, Shore Ordered Ocean

Kyle McCord, Galley of the Beloved in Torment

Derek Mong, The Nearest Thing to Heaven in the Lower 48

Sierra Nelson, Sail Out for Somewhere, Bitter Salt

Alison Powell, I Am Your Tin Ship

Chris Preddle, Cattle Console Him

Bobby C. Rogers, Newground

William Winfield Wright, Poems About Naked