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Announcing the 2017 Blue Light Books Prize Winner!

We are thrilled to announce that prize judge Ross Gay has selected GIRL WITH DEATH MASK by Jennifer Givhan as the winner of the 2017 Blue Light Books Prize! We are honored to have read so many beautiful poetry collections for this year’s contest. Many thanks to all who submitted and made the prize possible. GIRL WITH DEATH MASK will be published by Indiana University Press in 2018.

2017 Blue Light Books Prize Winner


by Jennifer Givhan

Ross Gay says about the winning poetry collection: “How many times I found myself looking into space, sort of shaken, sort of grasping, turning and turning inside a line or phrase, inside an image or metaphor, inside some devastating music while reading these poems, I do not know. But again and again. Put it like that.  These poems beautifully, convincingly do what I hope poems might–they disrupt what I know, or what I thought I knew. And in that way they invent for me a world.  A world haunted and brutal, yes. But one mended, too, by the love and tenderness and vision and magic by which these poems are made.”


Little Houdini by Sara Brickman

The Tilt Torn Away from the Seasons by Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers


Witch Doctrine by Annah Browning

The Falls by Emily Mohn-Slate

How The Wasp Girl Nests by Megan Peak

Mostly Human by Sheila Squillante