The 2021 New Voices Contest — Winners and Finalists!

Congratulations to the talented emerging poet S. Kim, winner of the 2021 New Voices Contest, and a sincere thanks to everyone who submitted. S Kim has been selected for the $3000 prize by the incredible Donika Kelly. A.D. Lauren-Abunassar is our 2nd place winner, and Syd Westley our third. We are so excited to share their work with you later this month!



S Kim

“Sisterland Fugue & Assimilamentations”

To be published on June 30, 2021

Sisterland: Fugue & Assimilamentations is full-hearted in its rage and grief. Across eleven kaleidoscopic sections, the poet positions the reader in turn as witness and complicit. What I loved about this poem is that the stakes of the poem and the speaker’s feelings were matched so perfectly in pitch—the balance of powerlessness and frustration bartering with the imposition of structure, of control.” — Donika Kelly, Judge

S. Kim divides her time between Little Korea, Bergen County, NJ, U.S. and Little Korea, New Malden, Surrey, U.K.


2nd Place

A.D. Lauren-Abunassar

“Abandoned Sestina”

To be published on June 21, 2021

“In Abandoned Sestina, one glimpses the scaffolding of the sestina form, it’s closed and looping repetition, rippling through these prose stanzas. This formal dynamic mirrors the speaker’s dilemma, their desire to run away from or through a world broken.” — Donika Kelly, Judge

A.D. Lauren-Abunassar is an Arab-American writer who resides in New York. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, Narrative, Cincinnati Review, Boulevard, Radar, and elsewhere. She was a 2020 Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg finalist and the winner of the 2020 Palette Emerging Poet Contest. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.


3rd Place

Syd Westley


To be published on June 14, 2021

Interlocution is an expansion, an incoming tide of thought, of thinking. The poet rifling through a buckling language to find some way to account for this life, this body, and love’s attendant offerings.” — Donika Kelly, Judge

Syd Westley (they/them) is a queer, mixed-race, non-binary poet from the Bay Area. They are pursuing a B.A. from Stanford in Comparative Literature with a focus on marginalized literatures and poetics of America. Westley is a 2019 Lambda Literary Scholarship Recipient & Fellow in Poetry. They have been published by Stanford University, Dissonance Press, and Lantern Review.


The Finalists Are

Adedayo Agarau
Bola Opaleke
Erin McCoy
féi hernandez
Grace Wagner
Josephine Blair
Kate Arden
Stephanie Chang


The Poets on the Longlist Are

Alison Zheng
Alissa Morgan
Annette Sisson
Annika Sjolie
Anthony Thomas Lombardi
Ari Mokdad
Ariel Machell
Bailey Hoffner
Belle Ling
Brenda Taulbee
Brittny Crowell
Claudia Monpere
Daniel Benyousky
Daniel Summerhill
Dominique Doonquah
James Senetto
Jim Benton
Juan Sandoval
Juliana Chang
Kelly Weber
Kim Welliver
Laurie Zimmerman
Linette Marie Allen
Megan Kim
Mistee St. Clair
Nikkiesha Mcleod
Patridge Boswell
Robert Lynn
Rocio Iglesias
Sacha Marvin Hodges
Saroya Marsh
Stephanie Glazier
Stephanie Harper
TIlghman Goldsborough
Timi Sanni
Tova Siegel
Ty Chapman
Zakiya Cowan
Zoe Johnson

Close Menu