8th Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize


Judge: Charles Simic

The winner of the eighth Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize was Shelley Puhak’s Guinevere in Baltimore.

Ms Puhak, of Catonsville, Maryland, received a cheque for $3,000 and Waywiser published Guinevere in Baltimore, which is her second collection of poems, on 18 November 2013, when Ms Puhak read alongside Charles Simic, the 2012 judge at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

It took the press’s screening panel two months of careful reading, deliberation and discussion to narrow the field to the group of finalists which, stripped of all identifying reference, was then sent to the 2012 judge. Waywiser’s Senior American Editor, Joe Harrison, rang Ms Puhak with Mr Simic’s decision in mid-April.

Our congratulations go not just to Shelley Puhak 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 2012 contest has been another resounding success.


Shelley Puhak, Guinevere in Baltimore


(in name order)

Kevin Barents, Bearings

Paul Beilstein, Reservoir

Anthony Deaton, Voice, Compass, Clay

Claudia Gary, Your Love Was Weightless, Breathless

Heather June Gibbons, Red-Handed

Amy Greacen, A Modern Herbal

Carrie Green, Double Brilliance

Paul Martin, River Scar

Gary McDowell, Mysteries in a World That Thinks There Are None

Nadine Sabra Meyer, Shadow Box

John Paul O’Connor, Half the Truth

Penelope Pelizzon, Whose Flesh is Flame, Whose Bone is Time

Alison Powell, On The Desire to Levitate

Michael Rutherglen, At the Later Library of Babel

Ron Salisbury, There’s snow in heaven

Miriam Schulman, Fight or Flight

Richard Sewell, A Stream of Voices

Phillip Sterling, Some Play of Light

Bob Watts,The Tendency of Bodies to Remain at Rest

Philip White, Among Other Things

Maya Jewell Zeller, Mappable in the Dark