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Winner Announced: 2021 42 Miles Press Poetry Award

“We are proud to announce that We Can’t Tell If the Constellations Love Us by Jennifer Boyden has been selected as winning manuscript! Please join us in congratulating Jennifer on this achievement.

~ From the official announcement.

Here is a selected poem from We Can’t Tell If the Constellations Love Us. . .

Lunar Year of the Explosion

The people are shooting the sky
again tonight.

When it dies,
its body will be a hallway of our dreams:

a woman washing her head, a goat
looking down from the awning,

a purse spilling the fish we lost
when we told the rivers to double their haul

if they wanted to live. All the things
in our dreams have grown arms.

When they reach for us, it is
to hold us tenderly.

It was not always terrible
to be held to our making.

At their chest, we understand 
why we took their teeth,

blunted their claws, dimmed their voices
into a shroud between worlds.


The prize is offered annually to any poet writing in English, including poets who have never published a full-length book as well as poets who have published several. New and Selected collections of poems are also welcome. The winning poet will receive $1,000, publication of his or her book, and 50 author copies. The winner will also be invited to give a reading at Indiana University South Bend as part of the release of the book.

The Series Editor is poet and artist David Dodd Lee. Submissions open for the 2022 contest on February 1st 2022.

Learn more here.