The 2020 Frontier Digital Chapbook Contest — Winner and Finalists!

Congratulations to Frederick Speers, winner of the 2020 Frontier Digital Chapbook Contest, selected by Carl Phillips, and a sincere thanks to everyone who submitted. Thank you, also, for your patience while we reviewed all the extraordinary work this year. We’ll be publishing Speers’ winning chapbook next spring. Congrats as well to all of these fabulous finalists and longlisters. You’ll see these books alive in the world sooner than later.


WINNER // $2000 + Publication

Selected by Carl Phillips

In the Year of Our Making & Unmaking by Frederick Speers

“Cast as a contemporary breviary, a book of months and hours, In the Year of Our Making & Unmaking takes the measure of a life made more urgent by the mortality that looms close to and over it. The urgency seems to generate a new form on the page, which makes the reading process an especially athletic one, as the words move “up and down the quiet median” of the line itself, suggestive both of how precarious any life can be, and how quickly we slip in and out of health and illness, yes, but also how easily sex moves in and out of


& sorrow,”

between “the notes     &the

            strummed   silences”

And yet there remains a sturdy generosity throughout. Here, says the poet, Take

   “my un-

         petalled hope”

offering it as a gift to the reader, for

“others to lift        enough        in time”

         up, high          & freely

Life is nothing if not uncertain. The poems here reflect that, and make of uncertainty a new song.”

—Carl Phillips, Guest Judge


Frederick Speers is the author of So Far Afield (Nomadic Press), a finalist for the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI; Diode Poetry Journal; The Drum Literary Magazine; Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety; Impossible Archetype; Lovejets: Queer Male Poets on 200 Years of Walt Whitman; Ofi Press Magazine; Tahoma Literary Review; Portland Review; The Straddler; Salamander Magazine; and Visible Binary. He lives in Denver, Colorado with his husband and their two dogs.



Ajanae Dawkins, Heirs
Nicole A. Greaves, Conventicle
Erica Charis-Molling, How We Burn
Stephanie Yue Duhem, A Witch Named
Lupita Eyde-Tucker, How to Ride a Train in the Andes
Grace Wagner-ODaniel, Halcyon Days
J’Sun Howard, Black Effigy
Noʻu Revilla, letters to the gut house


Poets on the Longlist:

Puneet Dutt
Paul Hlava Ceballos
Susan Sheppard
Hanna Elisabeth Watson
Ayla Goktan
Colin Bailes
Matthew Coonan
Darius Simpson
Anthony Borruso
William Joyner
Meriwether Clarke
Jeff Whitney & Philip Schaefer
Lauren Brazeal
Monica Jimenez
Susanna Lang
Emily Lawson
Adela Najarro
Katherine Soniat
Paloma Yannakakis
Brooke Schifano
Rushi Vyas
Dan Kraines
Katherine Indermaur
Bailey Cohen-Vera
Esteban Oloarte
Nicholas Yingling
Emma Aylor
Angelica Esquivel
Leyla Chisamore
Jason Han Chong Wee

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