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Announcing the 2022 Michelle Boisseau Poetry Prize!

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

In honor of the life and work of Kansas City poet and professor Dr. Michelle Boisseau, Bear Review will continue its annual single-poem prize, which will open on November 1st and close on December 31st. The contest guidelines are as follows:

  1. The contest entry fee is $15, which will go toward paying our judge (to-be-announced) and providing a monetary award of $500 to our contest winner.

  2. Each submission should contain 1-3 poems for consideration in a single document.

  3. All submissions will be received electronically through Submittable to ensure anonymity during the selection process. Entrants should not include any identifying information within their submission. Hard copies will not be accepted.

  4. Bear Review’s editors will conduct a preliminary review of all submissions and forward a selection of 15-20 poems to a contest judge (look for the announcement of this year’s judge in The Growler and on social media soon, prior to the opening date).

  5. If the content of any submission provides the judge with any identifying information, that submission will be excluded from the contest.

  6. Students who are currently students where the judge teaches are not eligible to apply. Close friends of the contest judge are not eligible to enter. We define a close friend as someone who has had coffee, brunch, dinner, drinks or has met up IRL or online for any form of hanging out.

  7. Submissions received for our bi-annual issues will not be considered for the contest.

  8. Contest submissions will open at midnight (CST) on November 1 and close at midnight (CST) December 31, 2022 (though the submission deadline may be extended if circumstances warrant it).

  9. We will announce a winner by the third week of January. The winning poem, and up to four other strong poems, will be published in the 2023 Spring Issue of Bear Review.

  10. We subscribe to the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) Contest Code of Ethics. We take a literary contest’s adjudication integrity seriously and will conduct this contest as ethically as possible. If any conflict of interest should arise, we will address it with our advisory board members as ethically and fairly as we can.

Meet our Judge: Traci Brimhall

Poet Traci Brimhall earned a BA at Florida State University, an MFA at Sarah Lawrence College, and a PhD at Western Michigan University. In her lyric poems, she often merges the everyday with surreal imagery to meditate on themes of sacrifice and transformation. She is the author of the poetry collections Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod (2020), Saudade (2017), Our Lady of the Ruins (2012), selected by Carolyn Forché for the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Rookery (2010), winner of a Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award and a finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year Award. Brimhall collaborated with Brynn Saito on the chapbook Bright Power, Dark Peace (2013), and her poetry has been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2014

Michelle Boisseau was the author of five poetry collections, including Among the Gorgons (University of Tampa, 2016), winner of the Tampa Review Prize for poetry; A Sunday in God-Years, (University of Arkansas Press, 2009); and Trembling Air (University of Arkansas Press, 2003), a PEN USA finalist. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017 and her second NEA fellowship in 2010, and her textbook Writing Poems (Longman) is in its 8th edition. She was a professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. (Bio courtesy of The Poetry Foundation)


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