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We are excited to announce the winner and runners-up of the 2021 Poetry Prize, judged by Zeina Hashem Beck. Many thanks to everyone who submitted their work and made this year’s prizes possible!

2021 Poetry Prize Winner

“What Happens Next” by Sarah Burke

Zeina Hashem Beck says, “’What Happens Next’ is a poem I kept returning to, discovering something new with each additional reading. The poet skillfully uses both directness and indirectness to speak about the female body, as the reader is taken from ovaries to chimes, from parade to empty churches. I love how the first and last stanzas echo each other in their first lines, “This is how the ovaries shut down” and “This is how a person wakes up.” What might be perceived as an ending becomes an unexpected beginning in the body, a freedom, a celebration.”


“Coyote on the Side of the Golden State Freeway” by L.A. Johnson

“The End of Sorrow is Not Happiness” by Jamaica Baldwin


“Persona poem” and “Root canal” by Nina Dahan-Reljich

“The Company Sign” by Emma Jones

“Swing Low Sweet Chariot Stop and Let Me Ride” by Brionne Janae

“A Trans Man’s Guide to Finding a Partner” by Arien Reed

“Kill the Messenger” and “Phone Sex III” by Fatima-Ayan Hirsi

The winner will be published in the Winter 2021 issue of Indiana Review.