© 2019 by Cow Creek Chapbook Prize

announcing the winner of the 2019 Cow creek chapbook prize:

hex, by Sarah Sousa

 Congrats, Sarah! Here's what judge Chloe Honum has to say about Hex

"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."

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.

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

Stay tuned for news from the Cow Creek Chapbook Prize. Pre-orders for Hex will begin on November 1, and the book will be released on November 15. 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.

about the 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. 

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