We are excited to announce the winner and runners-up of the 2020 Poetry Prize, judged by Javier Zamora. Many thanks to everyone who submitted their work and made this year’s prizes possible!
2020 Poetry Prize Winner
“I Looked At You and I Said Yes” by Wo Chan
Javier Zamora says, “What draws me into a poem is tension, the very first opportunity for such tension being the space between title and first line, and then, first line to second line, moving all the way down the page. Sometimes I call this speed, force, duende. When you couple this tension/speed with surprise (be it in language, content, form, etc.), then, you have achieved something that the best works of art do: spark multiple emotions we didn’t know we had, or we weren’t aware we had, or, we weren’t aware we hid them.
‘I Looked At You and I Said Yes’ sparked so many emotions in me that I didn’t know what to do with their juxtaposition. Part Elegy, part Ode, part just shooting the shit, and throughout it, a confession of love, humanity, friendship. I smiled, I nodded, I frowned, shook my head, almost cried. The deeper I dug into the poem, the more it revealed the hardships, the fucked-upness of the world we live under. Let this poem be the beginning of some sort of change. Change we all know we need, especially now. Change some of us have known we needed for years.”
“Corpse Pose” by Rachel Galvin
“HORS_” by Day Heisinger-Nixon
Ae Hee Lee
Stella Yin-Yin Wong
The winner will be published in the Winter 2020 issue of Indiana Review.