2019 42 Miles Press Poetry Award Winner

As usual, there were many powerful manuscripts to choose from this year, but we are delighted to announce that Bryce Berkowitz has won the 2019 42 Miles Press Poetry Award for his manuscript, Bermuda Ferris Wheel. The award includes a $1,000 prize in addition to the publication of his book by 42 Miles Press in October, 2020. Bryce will give a reading at Indiana University South Bend upon publication (most likely in October, 2020). Congratulations, Bryce! Some info about Bryce Berkowitz:

Bryce Berkowitz received his MFA in Creative Writing from West Virginia University. He is a recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award for Illinois’ emerging writers. His poetry has been selected for inclusion in the 2017 Best New Poets anthology and the 2019 New Poetry from the Midwest anthology. His poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and an AWP Intro Award. His fiction has been shortlisted for the ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Competition, the West Virginia Fiction Competition, and the Nelson Algren Award. He is the recipient of the Eberly College Outstanding Teaching Award from West Virginia University. ​

His poetry collection, Bermuda Ferris Wheel, won the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award in 2019. His chapbook, Midwest Mix: Boskydell Bombs, has been a semi-finalist for the Black Lawrence Press Black River Chapbook Contest. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets, New Poetry from the Midwest, The Sewanee Review, Ninth Letter, Passages North, Third Coast, The Pinch, Nashville Review, The Minnesota Review, Tampa Review, Barrow Street, Permafrost, Salt Hill, Sugar House Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Hot Metal Bridge, Eleven Eleven, Hobart, The Laurel Review, Barely South Review, Flyway, The Fourth River, The Southampton Review, Pembroke Magazine, Chicago Quarterly Review, Bayou Magazine, Muzzle Magazine, Appalachian Heritage, Evansville Review, and other publications.

Bryce was born in Carbondale, Illinois. He spent much of his youth involved with graffiti, hip hop, and skateboarding. Prior to his MFA, he worked in Los Angeles as a literary assistant at Agency for the Performing Arts, where he gained extensive experience working with technical and professional communication. In August 2019, he will begin teaching at Butler University.

The below poem, which will appear in Bermuda Ferris Wheel, first appeared in Muzzle Magazine.

Hepburn Manor, Los Angeles
by Bryce Berkowitz

​​Pink bleeds into evening. The final flecks of November, a soft blue. Goodbye
jacaranda leaves rustling, sprinklers in the buffalo grass,
a busted sidewalk beneath a bay fig’s shade.
I wanted you, but still I hid. On the rooftop,
beneath the sky-glow, shadowed palms swayed.
While you grew sad beneath me; the weight, a tender sore.
Brake lights pumped through Silver Lake, then disappeared into pepper trees.
In the foothills, tiny wildfires burned; over the Pacific,
planes rose and fell; the city, a jeweled motherboard.
Loneliness, its private wave. A flock of wild parrots
chattered in the neighbor’s Indian Laurel, descendants from a Bel-Air brush fire,
from Pasadena’s theme park. Where solitude built its current—
trips to the chandelier tree, cribbage in the hotel, the trouble with joy.
Along the dry river bed, a methadone clinic—Skid Row now Hope Central;
I fired a revolver into a warehouse wall
on your birthday, sober. I remember angels’ trumpets blooming
against that Melrose bungalow, soccer jugglers in Bellevue park,
Montana can graffiti in the freeway heavens.
I looked at rings. I returned from Austin. I entertained my mother.
It’s hard to remember every dragon snap, every peony,
every trip to the trash. For you, every hand drawn card and candle.
My box of personal items in the corner of a shut closet,
but outside the greasy window screen, we stood in awe of the rain.
Then, a cold snap spread, the way summer ends early.

 

We would like to say THANK YOU to everyone that submitted a manuscript this year.

These are the poets/manuscripts that made it to the final round of decisioning, runner ups indicated by an asterisk.

Leigh Ann Couch, I Am Bird and I Am Dirt

Glenn Freeman, Drinking with O’Hara

*Fay Dillof, Tips for Observing Mammals in the Wild

Joanna Fuhrman, The Bad Witness

Robert Murdock, Mutated Manlike

Daniel Lechay, Easy for a Cat

Diane Martin, Tongue & Groove

*Elizabeth Onusko, Early Indigo

*Joseph Goosey, Parade of Malfeasance

John M. Blair, THE ART OF FORGETTING

Robert Cooperman, REEFER MADNESS

*Peter Grandbois, Everything Has Become Birds

Maxine Scates, The Fates

*Richard Terrill, What Falls Away Is Always

Karina Browicz, Rosetta

*Daniel Biegelson, praised be the light of your mechanics

Gregory Lawless, Introduction to Literature

Ann Keniston, somatic

*Vincent Zompa, Asteroid Mambo

Steven Cramer, LISTEN

Robert Evory, Botnet

Henrietta Goodman, Flicker Noise

Susan Bruce, Illuminated Exit

Brad Johnson, Smuggling Elephants Through Airport Security

James Proffitt, A Purposeful Gait

Gary McDowell, Aflame

William H. Greenway, Everything

42 Miles Press Poetry Award, 2019 Finalists

We would like to say THANK YOU to everyone that submitted a manuscript this year.

These are the poets/manuscripts that made it to the final round of decisioning, listed in no particular order:

Leigh Ann Couch, I Am Bird and I Am Dirt

Glenn Freeman, Drinking with O’Hara

Fay Dillof, Tips for Observing Mammals in the Wild

Joanna Fuhrman, The Bad Witness

Robert Murdock, Mutated Manlike

Bryce Berkowitz, Bermuda Ferris Wheel

Daniel Lechay, Easy for a Cat

Diane Martin, Tongue & Groove

Elizabeth Onusko, Early Indigo

Joseph Goosey, Parade of Malfeasance

John M. Blair, THE ART OF FORGETTING

Robert Cooperman, REEFER MADNESS

Peter Grandbois, Everything Has Become Birds

Maxine Scates, The Fates

Richard Terrill, What Falls Away Is Always

Karina Browicz, Rosetta

Daniel Biegelson, praisedbethelightofyourmechanics

Gregory Lawless, Introduction to Literature

Ann Keniston, somatic

Vincent Zompa, Asteroid Mambo

Steven Cramer, LISTEN

Robert Evory, Botnet

Henrietta Goodman, Flicker Noise

Susan Bruce, Illuminated Exit

Brad Johnson, Smuggling Elephants Through Airport Security

James Proffitt, A Purposeful Gait

Gary McDowell, Aflame

William H. Greenway, Everything

Peek Inside Mary Ann Samyn’s Latest. It is now available on Amazon and at SPD.

 

PEEK INSIDE HERE.

Additional titles by Mary Ann Samyn can be found here.


For more information on the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award please visit our submissions page. If you have questions, comments, concerns, or would like to request a review copy please e-mail 42 Miles directly. Additional releases from 42 Miles Press can be found at SPD.

YOU ARE STILL ALIVE

Ah, yes… how about a poem from William Stobb‘s manuscript You Are Still Alive which, as of about fifteen minutes ago, has won the (2018) 42 Miles Press Poetry Award. The award includes a $1,000 prize in addition to the publication of his book by 42 Miles Press in September 2019.

(*What?! You can’t read tiny poems even if they’re 1.5 pages of unadulterated joy? Click the image for a larger image.)


Check back later tonight for more Stobb praise and celebratory fanfare.

Want the quick and dirty? Get to know our family tree:

Christine Garren, The Difficult Here (Limited release chapbook)
Carrie Oeding, Our List of Solutions (2010 winner)
Erica Bernheim, The Mimic Sea (2011 winner)
Bill Rasmovicz, Gross Ardor (2012 winner)
Betsy Andrews, The Bottom (2013 winner)
Allan Peterson, Precarious (Editor’s Choice)
Tracey Knapp, Mouth (2014 winner)
Kimberly Lambright, Ultra-Cabin (2015 winner)
Nate Pritts, Decoherence (2016 winner)
Mary Ann Samyn, Air, Light, Dust, Shadow, Distance (2017 winner)
William Stobb, You Are Still Alive (2018 winner)

A sneak-peek of ALL (most) our 42 Miles Press titles can be found on SPD or by searching Amazon.

Mary Ann Samyn’s Air, Light, Dust, Shadow, Distance (winner of the 2017 Poetry Award) will be available on Amazon and SPD this fall.

What can I say? We’re in Indiana. We like images, we like language. We like it real and surreal and unreal. For more information on the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award please visit our contest and submissions page. If you have questions, comments, concerns, or would like to request a review copy of one of our titles please e-mail 42 Miles directly at 42milespress@gmail.com.

JUNE TURNED TO JULY W/ A BANG

This should be my favorite part, right? It’s the celebration. That’s probably why we do this in July.

You know, it’s like I always say, “Fireworks and freedom are nice. But nothing says ‘Sensational Summer in the Midwest’ quite like surrounding yourself with poetry manuscripts, heat, humidity, failing technology, a little bit of cat hair on your t-shirt, and the temptation to announce that ‘all the finalists are winners’. In this version of our future, we spend the rest of our winters churing out generic announcement copy and never quite learning how to do anything on Amazon the right way.

We have been a small press (if defined by laborers) for the last five or six years and you’d think I would have gotten used to this… my procratination turning into actual fear… his indecisiveness turning to urgency and complete commitment. Followed, of course, by a series of e-mails where I string this process along for just another day or a few more moments. You see, once the selection has been made the pressure is suddenly on me to make the announcement.

Think about it… I just suggested that I thought all our finalists were worth publishing and now you want me to publish a post celebrating their achievement?! I don’t ever want to be the reason someone doesn’t give one of our author’s works a shot… I am partially joking, partially exposing myself for how insecure and foolish I am, but I am mostly trying to say that this position is an honor. Typing this post is an honor and an opportunity that I value. Thank you for supporting us. Thank you for buying our authors books or submitting to our contest. You might not be doing the Lord’s work, but you’re helping us keep captivating and compelling poetry in the hands of those who not only want it but NEED it.


I usually begin posts like this by saying something like, “Our decision was anything but easy…” No matter how cliche or unoriginal those words might be this year’s contest might have been the hardest to call yet. The 42 Miles Press family would like to welcome their newest member to the family. And while you shouldn’t expect an updated family portrait in this year’s Christmas card… you can expect to see…

[Dramatic pause.]

William Stobb has won the (2018) 42 Miles Press Poetry Award for his manuscript You Are Still Alive. The award includes a $1,000 prize in addition to the publication of his book by 42 Miles Press in September 2019. William will depart from Little Falls, Minnesota and will be invited to give a reading (and raise an appropriate amount of literary hell) in South Bend Indiana. The reading will be co-presented by Indiana University South Bend and will be an evening unlike any other. From Series Editor, David Dodd Lee (& the rest of the 42M crew), we’d like to say, welcome, feel free to make yourself at home.

A LITTLE ABOUT OUR NEWEST AUTHOR:
William Stobb is a native of Little Falls, Minnesota, home of Charles Lindbergh and Frank Wachlarowicz, and birthplace of Louise Erdrich. Stobb has also lived in Grand Forks, Minneapolis, Denver, Reno, and now with his spouse and children in La Crosse, Wisconsin, just 200 miles downstream on the Mississippi River from where he was born. He has worked in radio stations and restaurants, sold pool tables, played saxophone in a swing ensemble, written a procedures manual for a public housing authority, and taught a variety of writing classes. Stobb’s previous poetry collections include the National Poetry Series selection, Nervous Systems (Penguin 2007), Pointless Channel (Goss 183, 2011), and For Better Night Vision (Black Rock Press 2000). He works on the editorial staff of Conduit, and on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse


To recycle some recycled copy… and polish it up a bit for reproduction: If you are unfamiliar with who we are, what we do, and how or why we do it… you’re not alone. Get to know us in person or via the google machine. 42 Miles Press is based at Indiana University in historic South Bend, Indiana. We publish books (and chapbooks) of poetry, including the winner of the annual 42 Miles Press Poetry Prize. Our yearly contest. Currently, we accept submissions through the 42 Miles Press Poetry Prize Contest. The annual reading period is Dec 1-March 1.


Mary Ann Samyn’s Air, Light, Dust, Shadow, Distance (Winner of the [2017] 42M Poetry Award) will be available on Amazon and SPD this fall.

Finalists (winner announced on July 2)

Requiem with an Amulet In Its Beak / Elizabeth Knapp
You are Still Alive / William Stobb
We Uncertain Animals / Elizabeth Onusko
Rue / Daniel Lusk
Wonders of the Invisible World / Claire Bateman
Triage / Dennis Hinrichsen
Vesuvius After Dark / Johnny Horton
Biscuits / Lesle Lewis
We Make Too Much of Things / David Ebenbach
Empire / Tracy Zeman
Movable Orchard / Patty Crane
Honeygut / Melinda Wilson
Aflame / Gary McDowell
A Day at the Gene Pool / Jaimee Kuperman
Mirrorforms / Peter Kline
Savage Pageant / Jessica Q Stark
The Rules / Bill Neumire
The Dreams of Weapons / Melissa Ginsberg
Wish for an Oil Well / Rachel Peckham
Fabulous Beast / Sarah Kain Gutowski
Viejo Verde / Gustavo Perez Firmat
Maids / Abby Frucht
Here Over Here Over Here / Jacob Chapman
A Theory of What Just Happened / Laurie Blauner
Spell for the Daughter / Katie Berta