Southeast Missouri State University Press

Southeast Missouri State University

Congratulations to the winner and finalists of the 2017 Cowles Poetry Book Prize

Southeast Missouri State University Press is pleased to announce that Emma Bolden’s manuscript House is an Enigma is the winner of the 2017 Cowles Poetry Prize, judged by Susan Swartwout. The prize includes $2,000 and publication of the winning manuscript by the University Press. Ms. Bolden’s book will be published in October 2018.

House is an Enigma is an investigation of the language used to house descriptions of the body, which so often seek to define and determine the boundaries and behaviors of the spirit that lives within. Written after Bolden’s radical hysterectomy, during which she noted her doctors’ use of house metaphors to describe her body and discuss her inability to have children, these stunning poems set out to expose the fissures in the foundations of the language we use to define human bodies and their behaviors, using these cracks as a lens through which she can see her own body, at last, as her own flawed but beautiful home.

Emma Bolden is the author of two books, Malificae and medi(t)ations, and several chapbooks. Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in Colorado Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Salamander, National Poetry Review, Nimrod, Triquarterly, Fairy Tale Review, Prairie Schooner, Cimarron Review, StoryQuarterly, Bellingham Review, DIAGRAM, Monkeybicycle, and Gulf Coast among other venues. Bolden received a 2017 Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment of the Arts.

 

Winner

House is an Enigma by Emma Bolden

Finalists

Reverse Migration by Leah Angstman
Days Since a Lost Time Accident by Steve Bellin-Oka
Rare, Wondrous Things by Alyse Bensel
You, Them, Her by Allison Blevins
If Not This Then What by J.L. Conrad
Cut Words and Other Trimmings by Kathryn Gessner Calkins
Glass is Glass Water is Water by Rae Gouirand
Temple of Bureaucratic Kindness by Brad Johnson
Inside Ball Lightning by Jacob Oet
Repeater by Michael C. Peterson
History of Gone by Lynn Schmeidler