Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

February 2018

So You Wanna Win a Book Prize?

In honor of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize (open now!), we've revived our interview series about publishing the first book. This week poet Ángel García, winner of the 2018 CantoMundo poetry prize, talks about resisting the expectations of the first book, the usefulness of self-imposed limitations, and eavesdropping on your own poems. 

How many books have you published, and where?

Teeth Never Sleep is my first book, forthcoming from University of Arkansas Press in the Fall of 2018.

Describe the process of constructing your first manuscript. How did you conceive of ordering the collection?

So You Wanna Win a Book Prize?

In honor of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize (open now!), we've revived our interview series about publishing the first book. This week poet Kristi Carter, author of Cosmovore, talks about the importance of becoming familiar with the agendas of presses, wearing out your obsessions, and the surreal feeling of having two books picked up in the same month.

1. How many books have you published, and where?

On The Winner of the 2017 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry

by Katie Pryor

When I started Susan Gubernat’s The Zoo at Night, I felt naïve. I felt young. Facts about American history, Irish legends, and words I did not know gathered in the drain of my mind and I embraced it. I embraced it because sometimes Twitter exhausts me, sometimes the weight of my desire for youthfulness disgusts me. The truths of Gubernat’s collection are blunt and revealed slow. They take time. They have taken time.

Mary Ruefle, commenting on our obsession with talking about poems instead of reading them, says that no poet can teach us anything until they’re dead. I would argue, perhaps, that no poet teaches us anything until they are older, until some time has passed. I don’t mean to undermine the young; I am twenty-nine years old. What I mean to say is that I needed Gubernat’s longer view, I needed her to confound me, to further me along past the current limits of my senses.