Southeast Missouri State University Press

Announcing the winner of the 2022 Cowles Poetry Prize

We’re excited to announce the winner of our 2022 Cowles Poetry Prize. We received a *ton* of fantastic submissions this year. In fact, this year we received more submissions than we ever have before. It was a pleasure to read and think about all of these manuscripts. 

The winning manuscript was picked by our final judge, and previous prize winner, Rachel Hinton, from a set of manuscripts painstakingly selected by our initial readers. Here are the results: 


A Ribbon the Most Perfect Blue by Christine Kwon

Christine Kwon writes poetry and fiction and lives in a yellow shotgun house in New Orleans. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Recluse, Hot Pink Mag, The Yale Review, Sweet Mammalian, Joyland Magazine, Apocalypse Confidential, The Columbia Review, Recliner Mag, and X-Ray, among other places. Born in Queens, New York, and raised in New Jersey, she holds a BA from Yale and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. A Ribbon the Most Perfect Blue will be published in 2023!


This Smile is Starting to Hurt by Dylan Loring
Lavish Cruelty by Katie Jean Shinkle
Keeping in the Dark by Noah Stetzer
Eveningful by Jennifer Whalen


Happy Everything by Caitlin Cowan
Whipsaw by Suzanne Frischkorn
The Continuing Book by Robert Okaji
Inside the Golden Hunting Years by Delaney Olmo
A Grito Contest in the Afterlife by Vincent Rendoni
Night Swimming by Liz Robbins
Variable of Uncertain Effect by Matthew Schmidt
Steady, Girl by Leona Sevick
Family, Extended by Mark Smith-Soto
I’d Rather Be Lightning by Nancy Woo