We are thrilled to announce that the urgent, insightful Love Sick Century, by Elly Bookman, has been selected as the winning manuscript for this year’s 42 Miles Press Poetry Award! Please join us in congratulating Elly on this achievement. Elly’s book will appear in September 2024, with a public reading on campus in South Bend.

Elly Bookman grew up in downtown Atlanta, attended Colby College, and earned an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she worked as a lecturer. Since 2013 she has worked as a full-time middle grade educator while consistently publishing her poetry in some of the most widely-read markets in the country, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The American Poetry Review. She was the recipient of the first annual Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from The American Poetry Review and the Lorraine Williams poetry prize from The Georgia Review. In 2016 she returned to her hometown where she currently teaches at The Paideia School.  


Yesterday a little camera
slipped inside me and let me
look around. Turns out
a body is all walls and debris—
a morning sky behind tiny petals
floating over the windshield
like snow. But it is newly
spring, when bright winds spin
delicate white dots down from
the trees, around the roads.
Nothing will freeze for
a while. Inside, everything
was empty. Outside the sky
was thick as flesh, the bruised
white of an interim dawn.
And there was still time.

("Diagnosis" originally appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review)

Below is the list of finalists and semi-finalists for this year’s contest (finalists marked by asterisks)

Elly Bookman / Love Sick Century (WINNER)
*Adam Day / Whip the Sea
Hadley Austin / Feral
*Adam Lefevre / The World is Full of Gods
Martha Webster / Off Gunshot Lake
Will Schutt / Impressions of a Person
Jennifer Flescher / You Will Not Be In My Obituary
*Seth Simmons / The Brink
*Megan Merchant / Self-Portrait as a Dream of Picasso
Gary Fincke / For Now, We Have Been Spared
*Angela Sorby / Reading Trouble
*Ken Fifer / As I Seem I Am
*Michelle Franke / How to Disappear in America
Kevin Clark / Want
Craig Cotter / I Need to Dream About You
Scott Withiam / Waste Management Facility
Tracy Zeman / Interglacial
Nicole Santalucia / & Nothing But the Fruit
*Wes Civilz / Oops, Sorry I
Paul Nelson / Just Breathing
Harry Harper / All is a Hand & our Hands are Missing
Emily Hockaday / Blood Music
James Shea / Almost Still Now
*Carolyn Guinzio / Reunite the Beatles
*Kevin McIlvoy / What a Dancer Knows
Eric Fisher Stone / Bear Lexicon
Daniel Biegelson / Don’t Kick the Time Machine
*Suzanne Wise / The Calling
Bill Rasmovicz / Distanced from Melody
*Jeff Mock / Pier Thirteen
Nancy Keating / Grammars
*Zachary Lundgren / Turkey Vulture
David Petruzelli / The Next Life
Julie Choffel / Dear Wallace
*Natalie Solmer / I Am a Great Lake
Fay Dillof / Some Animal
Eric Burger / Dark Picnic
Dorothy Neagle / Imagine a Woman
Jennifer Moss / We Called the Game “The Dying Lady”
Linda Dove / Coin
Mark Kraushaar / What if the Hokey Pokey Really Is What It’s All About

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