From Poetry

Winners Selected for Wabash Prizes in Fiction and Poetry

2016 Wabash Prize in Fiction, as selected by Adam Johnson Winner: Caleb Tankersley, “Dean”  Johnson: Humor and physical desire always triangulate back to sadness in this young husband’s narrative of his attempts to adjust to his wife’s degenerative illness. No digression, however, will assuage the inevitable, and the final image of a man trying to bypass his wife’s wasted body to communicate brain-to-brain is haunting and affecting. Runner up: Stefani Nellen, “How the Mind Can Exist in a Physical Universe”  Johnson: A quiet story of subtle observation, this tale of a young scientist who falls into the orbit of a famous mathematics duo is…

Review: Ben Lerner’s The Hatred of Poetry

by Bess Cooley, Managing Editor It makes sense to begin where Ben Lerner begins The Hatred of Poetry—with an excerpt from Marianne Moore’s poem “Poetry.” She writes, “One discovers in / it, after all, a place for the genuine.” Lerner writes that there’s “no such thing” as a genuine poem. Poetry only offers a place for it, and maybe that’s at the root of hatred for it—a hatred this book understands and tries to permeate rather than diffuse. It’s Moore’s “a place for the genuine” [emphasis added] that Lerner lights on as a fairer expectation to put on poetry. He…

Jamaal May’s The Big Book of Exit Strategies

Review By: Bess Cooley, Managing Editor Birds searching for bread. A fist fight. Fences. Lampposts. All these in the first two poems, immediately setting up Jamaal May’s second poetry collection, The Big Book of Exit Strategies. This is an urban book, a book of city landscapes—particularly Detroit, the author’s hometown. The second poem in this collection, “There Are Birds Here,” immediately subverts expectations of what Detroit will look like in this book. After May writes that bread is torn for the birds “like confetti,” he clarifies:   I don’t mean the bread is torn like cotton, I said confetti, and…

Review: Sjohnna McCray’s Rapture

The collection is a glimpse into one person’s life thus far—and it’s a stunning glimpse, like living through somebody else, sifting through family history documents and discovering what lies behind them.

Announcing the 2015 Winners of the Wabash Prizes for Fiction and Poetry!

1st Place Poetry: “Elegy with the Wing of a Bird” by Jody Rambo Mary Szybist had this to say about the winning poem: “I’m moved by the way ‘Elegy with the Wing of a Bird’ inhabits the bewilderment of grief. We sense with the speaker all the ways her mother is and isn’t present after death, and share the speaker’s anticipation, past all reason, of her mother’s return. The poem directs its sorrow outward not toward an abstraction or a divinity, but more unexpectedly, to a community of sisters. There is urgency in this poem to maintain this intimate ‘we,’ which,…

Presenting the Winners of the 2014 Wabash Prize for Poetry

Thank you to everyone who entered the 2014 Wabash Prize for Poetry. From a list of 10 finalists, poetry judge Bob Hicok has chosen the following poems: Winner: Matt Morton, “Windfall” Runner Up: Mark Jay Brewin, Jr.: “Red Hand” Here’s what Bob Hicok has to say about Matt Morton’s winning poem, “Windfall.” I find myself wanting to live in this poem every time I read it. To be held by these places and entranced by the things that seem like a gift – a windfall – to this mind, this poet. I like the mix of missing and having, how…

Sycamore Review’s 2014 Pushcart Nominations

We are pleased to announce that we have nominated the following authors for the Pushcart Prize: Poetry Nancy Chen Long, “Blazing Black Holes Spotted in Spiral Beauty” Cintia Santana, “Qasida of Grief” Nonfiction Richard Froude, “Things to do in Denver When You’re Dead” Eson Kim, “Up Against” Fiction Julialicia Case “A Certain Kind of Animal” Nicholas Maistros “The Importance of Being Helpful”   We would like to thank all of our contributors for sharing their work, their time, and their voices with us, so that we may in turn share it all with you.

The Wabash Prize for Poetry and Nonfiction Extended!

The December 1 deadline for the Wabash Prize for Poetry and the Wabash Prize for Nonfiction has been extended until Monday, December 8! That means you have one more week to submit your fantastic pieces for the chance at the $1000 first place prize, publication, and accolades from Bob Hicok (poetry) or Leslie Jamison (Nonfiction). And, if you’ve already submitted, you can submit again for the discounted reading fee of just $5 per additional poem/essay! Click here for directions on how to submit.

Wabash Prize for Poetry and Nonfiction Opens October 15

Start gathering your best poems and most captivating nonfiction. The Wabash Prize for Poetry and the Wabash Prize for Nonfiction will open on October 15!  We’re excited to announce that award-winning poet Bob Hicok and acclaimed essayist and novelist Leslie Jamison will be this year’s judges. First prize in both contests is $1000 and publication in Sycamore Review. The contest is open through December 1, 2014. For full guidelines, see the contest page.

Wabash Prize for Poetry and Nonfiction Opens October 15

Start gathering your best poems and most captivating nonfiction. The Wabash Prize for Poetry and the Wabash Prize for Nonfiction will open on October 15!  We’re excited to announce that award-winning poet Bob Hicok and acclaimed essayist and novelist Leslie Jamison will be this year’s judges. First prize in both contests is $1000 and publication in Sycamore Review. The contest is open through December 1, 2014. For full guidelines, see the contest page.