The 2019 Award for New Poets — Winners and Finalists!

Congratulations to the winners of Frontier Poetry’s 2019 Award for New Poets and an enormous thanks to everyone who submitted. Thank you, also, for your patience while we and the judges reviewed all the extraordinary work. A BIG round of applause to Golden, the winner of our $3000 prize. Alan Semerdjian takes the second place prize, and Diamond Forde has won 3rd place.



As selected by our panel of esteemed judges:

Eve L. Ewing, Kaveh Akbar, and Ocean Vuong

First Place Winner of $3000 & Publication

“[X][Y]:[X][X]” by Golden

—to be published on 1/22/20

Golden (they/them) is a black gender-nonconforming trans-femme photographer and poet raised in Hampton, VA, currently residing in Boston, MA. Their work deals with the intersections of blackness and gender within the construct of America. Golden is a 2017 Pink Door Fellow, the 2018 House Slam Grand Slam Champion, the 2016 NYU Grand Slam Champion, & was apart of the 2017/2018 NYU CUPSI Championship winning team. Their work has been featured on/at the Shade Journal, the Offing, Wildness, Button Poetry, i-D, Interview Magazine, & elsewhere. Golden holds a BFA in Photography from New York University. Website: Instagram: mylesgolden. Twitter: mylessgolden.


Second Place Winner of $300 & Publication

“THE NAMING” by Alan Semerdjian

—to be published on 1/15/20

Award-winning writer, musician, and educator Alan Semerdjian’s writing has appeared in several notable print and online publications and anthologies over the years including Adbusters, The Brooklyn Rail, and Diagram. He released a chapbook of poems called An Improvised Device (Lock n Load Press) in 2005 and his first full-length book In the Architecture of Bone (GenPop Books) in 2009, which Pulitzer Prize winner Peter Balakian called “well worth your reading.” His music has been featured in television and film and charted on CMJ. He has performed over a thousand shows all over North America, exploring the range of alternative and inventive rock music in a myriad of bands including Surreal, Milquetoast, Diet Kong, Stratosphere Collective, and as a solo artist. Among his recognitions are a New York State English Council Educator of Excellence Award in 2008, a distinction of finalist for the Newsong Recordings New Song Contest in 2012, and a grant in 2017 from the Armenian General Benevolent Union’s Performing Arts Program for a collaboration of poetry and music with Vancouver-based guitarist Aram Bajakian (Lou Reed, Diana Krall, John Zorn). Alan was co-caretaker of the Walt Whitman Birthplace from 1998-2001 where he co-founded an experimental arts collective called The Body Electric, one of many community-centered series he has curated over his career. He was a columnist for LI Pulse magazine for ten years and earned several Long Island Press Club Awards for his innovative writing on culture and the arts. He earned his MFA at Goddard College in 2002 and currently teaches English at Herricks High School in New Hyde Park, NY. Alan recently moved with his partner and their son from New York City’s East Village to New Hyde Park, NY. He is also the grandson of the cubist-impressionist painter and Armenian Genocide survivor Simon Samsonian.


Third Place Winner of $200 & Publication

“Lot’s Wife” by Diamond Forde

—to be published 1/8/20

Diamond Forde is a PhD candidate at Florida State. Her debut collection, Mother Body, was chosen by Patricia Smith for the Saturnalia Poetry Prize, and will be forthcoming in Spring 2021. She is a Callaloo and Tin House fellow, whose work has appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, The Offing, and elsewhere.



(in no particular order)

“ABC Haibun” by Helli Fang
“Alternate Histories of the Exquisite Corpse” by Bryan Byrdlong
“CENTRIFUGE” by Lauren Ubbing
“Jonathan Says a Final Prayer” by Emily Khilfeh
“Possible” by Chelsea Wagenaar
“The Common Room” by Chloe Honum
“The Fish that Halved Water” by Alycia Pirmohamed

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