Tupelo Press Announces Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Award

Tupelo Press is especially delighted to announce that our judge, Kimiko Hahn, has selected Why Misread a Cloud by Emily Carlson of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as winner of the 2022 Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Award.  

Emily Carlson is a mother, a teacher, and the director of Art in the Garden, a liberatory, anti-racist, LGBTQA+ welcoming, and joy-centered program that addresses the impacts of childhood adversity and trauma. She’s the author of two chapbooks, Symphony No. 2 (Argos Books, 2015) and I Have a Teacher (The Center for Book Arts, 2016). Her poems have appeared in Aufgabe, Bloom, Denver Quarterly, Fence, jubilat, and other journals. With friends, she runs the Bonfire Reading Series. Emily lives with her partner and their three children in an intentional community centered around an urban garden in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Here’s what our contest judge, Kimiko Hahn, had to say about the winning chapbook:

In brief paragraphs that are neither prose nor prose poems, we meet a witness. A speaker who is not in her country of origin. A woman living in the air of violence. Militarization. And very occasionally, a mundane gesture–adding sugar to tea. The spareness creates a poetics that is, at once, elegantly stark and akin to journalism. We read between the lines because what is unsaid, makes this a poetry of image and association. What was once a broom for sweeping a kitchen, is used by a woman to sweep propaganda leaflets off the street. I find myself engaged in a place–to a place, really–where there are ballistic helmets. Yes, strange and strangely familiar. This is how art and dreams work: with the familiarity of knowing and the dissassociation that can allow insight.

Our sincere congratulations to Emily Carlson, whose book will be out in time for her debut reading this summer at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.

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