Hawk Parable by Tyler Mills wins 2017 Akron Poetry Prize

Oliver de la Paz, this year’s judge, has chosen Hawk Parable by Tyler Mills of Santa Fe, New Mexico as the 2017 Akron Poetry Prize winner. The contest received a total of 606 entries in 2017.

About the winning manuscript, de la Paz comments:

In Hawk Parable, by Tyler Mills, the intricacies of what is seen and what is felt are scars in the body of a bomb survivor or even legacies of guilt. Exposure in the white-hot flashpoints of the atomic age are lessons applicable to now and urgently call us to take heed and notice that "The shadow is an airplane" and that "Vapor is a value." The story of the hunter flying high above the earth is a lesson, also, about the prey and how the exchange between seeing and seen can spell unimaginable horror. The poet traverses the terrain of familial taboo, peering into the past and interrogating what is reflected there in beautiful and painful lyricism.

Tyler Mills is the author of Tongue Lyre, winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award (SIU Press 2013). Her poems have appeared widely, including The New Yorker, Poetry, Kenyon Review, Boston Review, the Believer, and New England Review. Her creative nonfiction won the Copper Nickel Editor’s Prize in Prose and has also appeared in AGNI, Cherry Tree, the Collagist, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. She is editor-in-chief of The Account and an Assistant Professor of English at New Mexico Highlands University. You can find her online here: www.tylermills.com.

The judge for the 2018 Akron Poetry Prize competition will be Diane Seuss. Diane Seuss’s most recent collection, Four-Legged Girl, published in 2015 by Graywolf Press, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open won the Juniper Prize and was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2010. Her poetry has appeared in a broad range of literary magazines, including American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Iowa Review, New England Review, and The New Yorker. Seuss’s fourth collection, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in May 2018.

Full guidelines may be found here.

Note: Final judge Oliver de la Paz considered both the finalist and semifinalist manuscripts in his deliberations for the 2017 Akron Poetry Prize competition.

2017 FINALISTS
Tourism—Samuel Amadon
Body Fires—Hannah Baggott
The Cipher—Molly Brodak
Witch Doctrine—Annah Browning
Deus Absconditus and Love Letters From Outer Space—Brandi George and Michael Barach
Be Missing—Mark Gosztyla
Animals in Silent Movies—Kara Krewer
Quite Apart— Krystal Languell
A Ligature for Black Bodies—Denise Miller
The Life of the Party is Harder to Find Until You’re the Last One Around—Adrian Sobol
A Boy’s Guide to Danger & Housework—Noah Stetzer
Homophones—Julia Tillinghast
The Plot Against the Baby—Sarah Trudgeon

2017 SEMIFINALISTS
Surfactants—Nick Admussen
Imaginary Homeland—Jenna Bazzell
Secure Your Own Mask—Shaindel Beers
Muzzle—Brian Clifton
In Whose Hand the Light Expires—Jaydn DeWald
Swan Hammer—Maggie Graber
Undoll—Tanya Grae
Sky of Wu—Judy Halebsky
Go Because I Love You—Jared Harel
The Other City—Rebecca Hazelton
That Much Further West—John Fenlon Hogan
A Great Hair Day on the River—Gina Keicher
The Rose Engine—Cindy King
Count Four—Keith Kopka
Mercies in the American Desart—Benjamin Landry
Salt—Rachel Mennies
When We Were Mist—Brianna Noll
You Are a House, You Are a Hammer, You’re the Momentum of the Nail—Saara Myrene Raappana
No Small Comfort—Brian Simoneau
The Dream Protects the Dreamer—Ryan Teitman
In My Feelins—Cedric Tillman