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Awards & Prizes

Sarah V. Schweig Wins the Eighth Annual Jake Adam York Prize

Milkweed Staff — 02/23/2024


Copper Nickel and Milkweed Editions are thrilled to announce that judge Cynthia Cruz has chosen Sarah V. Schweig’s collection of poems, The Ocean in the Next Room, as the winner of the 2023–24 Jake Adam York Prize. The Ocean in the Next Room will be published by Milkweed Editions in January 2025, and Schweig will receive $2,000.

Sarah V. Schweig’s first book, Take Nothing with You, was published by the University of Iowa Press in 2016. Her poetry has appeared in Boston Review, Granta, Tin House, and the Yale Review, among others, and her critical essays have…


Debra Magpie Earling on surfacing through silence: “The time is now.”

Briana Gwin — 02/14/2024

Debra Magpie Earling wasn’t exactly surprised when her first novel, Perma Red, was banned after its re-release in 2022. She’d already faced more than her fair share of adversity bringing the book to fruition: after spending nearly a decade conceiving of the first draft, she would lose it to a cabin fire. After tirelessly working to rewrite the story, she’d be advised—repeatedly—to adapt the ending of the work to cater to Western audiences. And after finally signing her first publication deal in 2002, the imprint would shutter its doors and force the novel out of print just four years…


The Quickening creates community at the ends of the earth

Briana Gwin — 01/05/2024

On the first day of the new year, we received an exciting and somewhat extraordinary message confirming that one of our books, The Quickening by Pulitzer Prize finalist Elizabeth Rush, is now available in the Little Free Library at the South Pole! For us, the announcement is cause for celebration, as well as gratitude and reflection. We are humbled by the ways in which The Quickening has made waves in the world. And what book could be a better fit for the South Pole’s collection than this one, whose apt subtitle is Creation and Community at the Ends of


The inspiring reemergence of Debra Magpie Earling

Briana Gwin — 12/22/2023

Books often come to us at Milkweed Editions in unusual ways, and Bitterroot Salish author Debra Magpie Earling’s work is no exception. The Missoula, Montana-based writer was highly referred to our Publisher & CEO Daniel Slager by Chris Dombrowski, a fellow Missoulian author who had already published a book with us. Slager was intrigued to learn that Earling had broken ground in the literary world with the publication of her highly-successful debut novel, Perma Red, back in 2002, only for the imprint to shutter its doors four years later, sending the novel out of print. He became even…


One poet's impact, written in the stars

Briana Gwin — 12/22/2023

As an independent publisher, we look at more than just a book’s potential when a manuscript proposal comes our way. We also consider the promise of the artist behind the art, prioritizing transformative potential over profitability. Today, we’re proud to be the creative home of dozens of change-making artists—from international award winners to MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellows, and even a Poet Laureate of the United States. Ada Limón has achieved all of the above and more. We’re proud to point to her impact in the world today as an example of the effects of our commitment to build relationships with…


Making waves in 2023: A year in review

Milkweed Staff — 12/22/2023

As we near the end of 2023, we find ourselves reflecting and looking forward. We hope you’ll join us in doing the same by reading, sharing, and celebrating a few highlights of 2023—none of which would have been possible without you.

We can’t wait to reach new heights, elevate more transformative voices, and make waves in the cultural conversation in 2024, empowered by your belief in our mission to publish life-changing literature.

In the meantime, read on to find out why Ada Limón, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Debra Magpie Earling, Elizabeth Rush, and our roster of debut authors are among our…

Awards & Prizes

Weijia Pan wins 2023 Max Ritvo Poetry Prize

Milkweed Staff — 12/19/2023
Ibrahim Badshah

We are thrilled to announce that Weijia Pan is the winner of the 2023 Max Ritvo Poetry Prize. His manuscript, titled Motherlands, was selected by judge Louise Glück and will be published in September 2024. In addition to publication, Weijia Pan will receive $10,000.

We at Milkweed Editions are deeply saddened by the loss of Louise Glück, a deeply generous and prolific member of the literary community. Glück worked closely with our team to select Motherlands, and with Weijia Pan to develop the manuscript. Her attention and care to this process is emblematic of her brilliance as…


From Conversations with Birds to dialogues on the world stage

Briana Gwin — 11/30/2023

When Priyanka Kumar began writing her debut memoir, Conversations with Birds, she had a profound realization. Since the dawn of the Information Age, modern Americans have struggled to find fulfillment in their lives more than ever before—but to Kumar, the solution to this problem was surprisingly simple, and could be found in a single word. “We’re at a crossroads in the world,” Kumar says. “Our lives have become fragmented in so many ways by all these devices that we’re basically living inside of now. But there’s something in us that’s very human and wants to break open, that remembers…

Authors / Events

The power of music and verse with stuttering poet JJJJJerome Ellis

Sean Beckford — 11/20/2023

“A stutter is an heirloom—something precious, that should be cherished.”

JJJJJerome Ellis inherited his stutter from his mother, who also stutters. They don’t speak often of their shared inheritance but she is supportive of his work. He sees his stutter as an heirloom and his teacher—both in language and in music. He has learned to gracefully accept and even anticipate how it informs his artistic processes of speaking and performing. In his new book, Aster of Ceremonies, he creates a world that blooms backward, reimagining what it means for Black and disabled people to have taken, and to continue…


When art inspires art; how Braiding Sweetgrass influenced a climate movement

Briana Gwin — 10/09/2023

American conceptual artist Jenny Holzer is no stranger to addressing the biggest issues of our times through art. In the 1970s, her Truisms project elevated political slogans in public spaces across New York City, and a few decades later her Redaction Paintings series staunchly opposed the abuse of incarcerated people of Guantanamo Bay. As recently as 2020, Holzer again set to work with the noble cause of inciting political awareness and activism in America as part of a project called VOTE FOR YOUR FUTURE. But Holzer was far from finished—and just a year later, she set her sights on…