© 2019 by Cow Creek Chapbook Prize

Cow creek chapbook prize

Hex is HERE!

We're thrilled to announce the arrival of Sarah Sousa's Hex, winner of the 2019 Cow Creek Chapbook Prize.


Here's what Chloe Honum, this year's judge, had to say about the chapbook:

"The poems in Hex sing blazing love songs for the physical, natural world in our frightening age of climate change and its violence. With strikingly sensory language and lyric intelligence, these poems carve deep paths of grief, tenderness, and dire warning. From within "this age of unmothering," here is a voice that persists in telling of "the life where I learn / even water must be earned if we’re to reclaim the garden." This is an urgent and achingly beautiful collection."

Order your copy today!

More praise for Hex

"Sarah Sousa’s chapbook Hex casts with the power of both protective amulet and curse, ligatures oral folktale, tight lyricism, and the wild spirit of epic poetry ... These poems weave nets that swallow us into the black maw, catch fish not for eating but for scrying the signs, divining the world around us through the speaker-as-seer’s eye, though Sousa warns us— poets and writers, witchy spirits, dreamers— “There’s no cure for an oracle.” This subterranean aftermath of a world is both devastated and enchanting, infused with the magic of rebirth.

                                                                –Jenn Givhan, author of Girl with Death Mask and Rosa’s Einstein  

Sarah Sousa is the author of the poetry collections See the Wolf, named a 2019 ‘Must Read’ book by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, Split the Crow, and Church of Needles, as well as the chapbook Yell. Her poems have appeared in The Massachusetts Review, North American Review, The Southern Poetry Review, Verse Daily, and Tupelo Quarterly, among others. Her honors include a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship and a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship. She is a member of the board of directors of Perugia Press.

about the 2019 Contest:

Thanks to everyone who submitted; it was a pleasure reading all of your poems. Our readers had difficulty choosing which chapbooks to send to Chloe, but here are those finalists:


  • The Brightness of the Birdcage, by Victoria Hudson

  • Burger King of the Dead, by John Surowiecki

  • Honey to Balm, by Shawn Fawson

  • Ladies' Abecedary, by Arden Levine

  • Studies of Familiar Birds, by Carrie Green

  • The Violence of Open Spaces, by Stephanie Bryant Anderson

  • Who Mothers the Mothers, by Rachel Swan

  • Word of Our Crossing, by Jed Myers

2019 Judge:

Chloe Honum grew up in Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand. She is the author of Then Winter (Bull City Press, 2017) and The Tulip-Flame (Cleveland State University Press, 2014), which was selected by Tracy K. Smith for the Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize, named a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award, and won the Foreword Reviews Poetry Book of the Year Award. She is the recipient of a Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared in venues including The Paris ReviewPoetryThe Southern Review, and the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre, and she served as a guest poetry editor for the 2017 Pushcart Prize anthology. 





Stay tuned for news from Cow Creek Chapbook Prize. More information on the 2020 contest will be available in January of 2020. Submissions will open Feb 15 of that year. To stay up-to-date, follow our brand new Twitter account.

The Cow Creek Chapbook Prize is a poetry chapbook contest brought to you by Pittsburg State University. We're open to all styles and subjects. As long as the poems challenge and capture the imagination, we want to see them. 

The winning poet will receive $1,000 and 25 author copies. The chapbook will be published as a perfect bound book and sold both online and in limited bookstores.

questions? Contact us