The 2020 Award For New Poets — Winners and Finalists!

Congratulations to the talented emerging poet Taylor Byas, winner of the 2020 Award for New Poets, and a sincere thanks to everyone who submitted. Thank you, also, for your patience while we reviewed all the extraordinary work. Taylor Byas has been selected for the $3000 prize by a panel of rising poetry stars Paige Lewis, Camonghne Felix, and Jake Skeets. Samantha Samakande is our 2nd place winner, and Nome Emeka Patrick our third. We are so excited to share their work with you this January!



Taylor Byas

“South Side”

To be published on January 20, 2021

Taylor Byas is a Black poet and essayist. Originally from Chicago, she moved to Alabama for six years, where she received both her Bachelor’s degree in English and her Master’s degree in English (Creative Writing concentration) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Taylor currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio where she is a second year PhD student and Albert C. Yates Scholar at the University of Cincinnati studying poetry. She is also a reader for both The Rumpus and The Cincinnati Review, and the Poetry Editor for FlyPaper Lit. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in New Ohio ReviewThe JournalGlass PoetryBorderlands Texas Poetry Review, Hobart, Pidgeonholes,The Rumpus, and others. Her prose appears or is forthcoming in Another Chicago Magazine, Empty Mirror, Jellyfish Review, JMWW, X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine and others. She has received four Pushcart, one Best Microfiction, and six Best of the Net nominations. She is also the 1st Place Winner of the 2020 Poetry Super Highway Contest. Her chapbook, BLOODWARM, is forthcoming from Variant Lit (2021).

2nd Place

Samantha Samakande

“On the Thing I Cannot Explain to my Husband”

To be published on January 13, 2021

Samantha Samakande is a Zimbabwean writer currently based out of Bloomfield, NJ. She is a graduate of Allegheny College in Pennsylvania and is a junior editor for F(r)iction. It is her lived experience as an immigrant that made her a poet, an observer, and a daughter of many tongues and in-betweens.


3rd Place

Nome Emeka Patrick

“The Body Walks Through Grief Towards God”

To be published on January 6, 2021

Nome Emeka Patrick is a blxck bxy; he graduated from University of Benin, Nigeria, where he studied English Language and Literature. His works have been published or forthcoming in POETRY, AGNI, Poet Lore, Strange Horizons, Black Warrior Review, Beloit poetry journal, The FIDDLEHEAD, Notre Dame Review, Puerto Del Sol, McNeese Review, FLAPPER HOUSE, Gargouille, Crannóg magazine, Mud Season Review, The Oakland Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly and elsewhere. A Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and Pushcart prize nominee. His manuscript We Need New Moses. Or New Luther King was a finalist for the 2018 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. He writes from Lagos, Nigeria. Say Hi on Twitter @paht_rihk


The Finalists Are

Sahar Muradi
Paola Liendo
Darius Simpson
Justin Jannise
Marvin Hodges
Iloh Onyekachi
Mag Gabbert


The Poets on the Longlist Are

 A.D. Lauren-Abunassar
Amanda Gunn
Amanda Wochele
Asa Drake
Bee Groves
Carolann Caviglia Madden
Cathlin Noonan
Chisom Okafor
Deborah Golden
Emily Liu
George Qiao
Imani Congdon
Jacqui Germain
jelal huyler
Jordan Franklin
Josh Tvrdy
Joshua Martin
Keith Wilson
Kelly Weber
Kimberly MacCormack
Kiyoko Reidy
Lolita Stewart-White
Madeline Miele
Maia Elsner
Mark Bias
Numertha Geisinger
Oli Isaac
Raphael Coronel
Rhys Podell
Ryan Paradiso
S. Erin Batiste
Samuel Sea
Selma Asotić
Sharon Parker
Tariq Thompson
Tzy Jiun Tan
William Dyes

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