Announcing Our 50 Best New Poets for 2013

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Have you ever seen that "comforting" piece of publishing advice that says 90% of the people you're competing against in any given submission pool can't write a coherent sentence? I can't speak for other journals, magazines, anthologies or contests, but I know that the idea that most of the work in the pool is as worthwhile as a page full of Wingdings always rings false when it comes to Best New Poets. And that was certainly the case again this year.

I speak for myself and for my readers (Molly Damm, Juliana Daugherty, Celeste Lipkes, Marielle Prince, Jocelyn Sears, Safiya Sinclair and Chelsey Weber) when I say it was a pleasure to discover so many excellent poemsand there were many, many excellent poems among the nearly 4,000 we read. But it was also, at times, panic-inducing. "Only 50 poems?" I thought this July as I stared down at the giant stack of pages I was preparing to mail to Brenda Shaughnessy.  

As I reviewed our final list of writers, which you'll find below, it was encouraging to see just how many of our finalists had "unsuccessfully" submitted to BNP throughout the years. I hope that anyone disappointed not to see his or her name among the poets below will keep that in mind and try us again (and again, and again). 

Congratulations to our outrageously talented final 50, selected by this year's guest editor, Brenda Shaughnessy.

BEST NEW POETS 2013

Melissa Barrett, “The Invention of the Metal Detector”

Debbie Benson, “Memory”

Michael Boccardo, “What No One Told Me About Autumn”

Michelle Bonczek, “Entering the Body”

Claudia Burbank, “TGIF” (previously published in The Antioch Review)

Micah Chatterton, “Now, Someday”

Darin Ciccotelli, “Superpower”

Meg Day, “Taker of the Temperature, Keeper of the Hope Chest” (previously published in Adrienne)

Aran Donovan, “two left feet” (previously published  in Rattle)

Tarfia Faizullah, “Self-Portrait as Slinky” (previously published in Ninth Letter)

Jennifer Givhan, “Karaoke Night at the Asylum” (forthcoming in Indiana Review)

Andrew C. Gottlieb, “Portrait: Parsing My Wife As Lookout Creek”

Mikko Harvey, “Cannonball” (poet nominated by The Ohio State University, poem previously published in Juked)

Anna Claire Hodge, “Where We Have No Business” (previously published in Copper Nickel)

Anna Maria Hong, “Four Barrels, Jaw & Locket” (nominated by Unsplendid, where it originally appeared. Also previously published in Verse Daily.)

Erin Hoover, “On the Origin of Species” (forthcoming in Gargoyle)

Rochelle Hurt, “Poem in Which I Play the Runaway” (previously published  in The Collagist)

John James, “Chthonic”

Josh Kalscheur, “Katari” (previously published in The Iowa Review)

Courtney Kampa, “Ars Biologica” (previously published  in TriQuarterly)

Elizabeth Langemak, “An Apology” (previously published  in C4)

Sarah Levine, “Birds are loosely folded napkins thrown into the sky”

Jason Macey, “Love Song for Cesar Vallejo”

Lo Kwa Mei-en, “Romance in Which Open Season Changes Everything” (previously published in APARTMENT Poetry)

Scott Miles, “Ode to the Gods of French Cinema”

Peter Mishler, “Fludde”

Gloria Muñoz, “Your Biome Has Found You” (nominated by the University of South Florida)

Lisa Allen Ortiz, “Confection”

Elsbeth Pancrazi, “What's penciled in”

Hannah Sanghee Park, “Bang” (previously published  in 32 Poems)

Laura Passin, “The Egon Schiele Art Center, Cesky Krumlov”

Jade Ramsey, “She Lives in a Pat of Butter” (previously published iGargoyle)

Kyeren Regehr, “Eversion” (previously published  in Prairie Fire)

Stephanie Rogers, “How It Kept On”

Justin Runge, “History” (previously published  in  Rattle) 

Michael Simon, “Interstate”

Meighan L. Sharp, “Beyond Measure” (previously published in DIALOGIST)

Max Somers, “The Narrative Poem”

Benjamin Sutton, “from Footnotes on the City”

L.J. Sysko, “Just Try”

Kenny Tanemura, “Expulsion”

Chad Temples, “Waking, Waking, Singing”

Brian Tierney, "Jawbone" 

Emily Van Kley, “Physical Education”

Angela Voras-Hills, “Preserving”

Corrie Lynn White, “Gravy”

Derek JG Williams, “Ode to the Tongue” (previously published in Knockout Literary Magazine)

Cori A. Winrock, “Débridement” (previously published in Versal)

Amy Woolard, “A Girl Gets Sick of a Rose” (nominated by Smartish Pace, where it originally appeared)

Javier Zamora, “This Was The Field” (nominated by New York University)


Thank you if you submitted poems to us this year. We hope you'll let us read your work again next summer, and that you'll support your fellow emerging poets this November when Best New Poets 2013 is released. Consider ordering a copy (or pre-ordering one now), or attending a reading — more details to come!