Adrian Matejka, this year’s judge, has chosen Something About Living by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha of Redmond, Washington, as the 2022 Akron Poetry Prize winner. The contest received a total of 583 entries in 2022.
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha is a poet, essayist, and translator. She is the author of Water & Salt (Red Hen Press), which won the 2018 Washington State Book Award, and the forthcoming Kaan & Her Sisters (Trio House Press). She is also the author of two chapbooks, Arab in Newsland, winner of the 2016 Two Sylvias Prize, and Letters from the Interior (Diode Editions). Tuffaha served as the inaugural Poet-In-Residence at Open Books: A Poem Emporium, in Seattle in 2017–18. She is the recipient of a 2019 Artist Trust fellowship, and her writing has been published in journals including Los Angeles Review of Books, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Nation, and Poets.org and in anthologies including The Long Devotion, Alone Together, and Bettering American Poetry. She is the curator and translator of the Poems from Palestine series at The Baffler magazine. For more about her work, visit www.lenakhalaftuffaha.com.
The judge for the 2023 competition will be Sandra Beasley. Beasley is the author of four poetry collections—Made to Explode, Count the Waves, I Was the Jukebox, which won the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Theories of Falling—as well as Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a disability memoir and cultural history of food allergies. She served as the editor for Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance. Honors for her work include the 2019 Munster Literature Centre’s John Montague International Poetry Fellowship, a 2015 NEA fellowship, and five DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities fellowships. She lives in Washington, DC.
Akron Poetry Prize competition guidelines may be found here.
2022 Akron Poetry Prize Finalists
Love Sick Century, Elly Bookman
Before We Had Our Faces, Chris Campanioni
Afterlife, Michael Dhyne
The Movement of Fields, Ryler Dustin
Glance, Chanda Feldman
Somewhere Horses, Jasmine Khaliq
Where Land Is Indistinguishable from Sea, Helena Mesa
A Natural History of Oblivion, Trey Moody
Seasons of Dust, Daniel Moysaenko
bury your horses, Brandon Rushton
Redress, Jess Smith
Winter Here, Jessica Tanck
Mountain Amnesia, Gale Thompson
The Color of Us, Spring Ulmer