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First Book Scholarship

The First Book Scholarship is for emerging writers who have yet to publish a full-length collection. 

The winners will receive $250 to cover the costs of submitting their manuscript to presses this year.

2022 Winners 
Joshua Garica for the manuscript Pentimento

Joshua Garcia's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, The Georgia Review, Ninth Letter, North American Review, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the College of Charleston and was a 2021-22 Stadler Fellow at Bucknell University. He lives and writes in Brooklyn, New York.

Remarks from the final judges: 

"It is so rare to come across a collection that is equal parts haunting and hopeful, but Pentimento is just that collection. These poems make me want to buy my friends flowers and write love letters and be loved well---and really, what else is there?"

"Impressive weaving of memory, feeling, & sensorial abundance; Pentimento swallows speaker & reader, alike, immersing us in regret, hope, and the reconciliation of self-judgment without need for absolution nor damnation."

Hera Naguib for the manuscript Atlas of Disquiet: Poems

Born to Pakistani parents in Jeddah, Hera Naguib is a PhD candidate in English at Florida State University. A finalist for Palette Poetry's 2022 Previously Published Prize and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellowship, Hera holds a Fulbright Scholarship, a VIDA Residency Fellowship, and an honorable mention for the John Mackay Shaw Academy of American Poets Award. Her work has been published in New England Review, Poem-a-Day series by the American Academy of Poets, The Cincinnati Review, Prairie Schooner, The Common, World Literature Today, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. Currently, she serves as Editorial Assistant at Guernica and Contributing Poetry Editor at River Styx. Hera lives between Tallahassee and Lahore.

Remarks from the final judges: 

"Atlas of Disquiet vividly and captivatingly maps the speaker’s journey toward selfhood and belonging across multiple countries and bodies of water. This collection complicates notions of migration and the attainment of 'home' and will resonate with anybody familiar with the conflicting tugs of multiculturalism."

"Unsentimental, but no less emotionally charged, and firmly grounded in placelessness, Atlas of Disquiet confronts, with pragmatism & wistfulness, what it means to survive our circumstances and, yet, feel compelled to revisit the past so that we may continue to live, continue to seek belonging, to create whatever community we can alongside others."

This year's final judges:
Dani Putney, author of Salamat sa Intersectionality
Oscar Mancinas, author of des_________: papeles, palabras, & poems from the desert 
Roseanna Boswell, author of Hiding in a Thimble
List of finalists: 

Abbie Kiefer - Almost Tender


Ashe Prevett - Alive in the Glamour Pit


Ahja Fox - What Holds You at Night


Sean Cho A. - Context Theory

Past winners of that prize are listed below: 
2021 Winners: ​

Ae Hee Lee, Asterism

Lucy Zhang, Hollowed.

2020 Winner:

Sam Ferrante, No More Odes to My Mouth

2019 Winner:



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