News / Awards & Prizes

Analicia Sotelo Wins Inaugural Jake Adam York Prize

Milkweed Staff — 02/27/2017
Brooke Lightfoot

We are pleased to announce that Analicia Sotelo is the inaugural winner of the Jake Adam York Prize for a first or second collection of poems, presented in partnership by Copper Nickel and Milkweed Editions, judged by Ross Gay. Sotelo will receive $2,000 and her debut collection, Virgin, will be published by Milkweed Editions in February 2018.

Sotelo holds an MFA from the University of Houston and currently works at Writers in the Schools in Houston. Her chapbook Nonstop Godhead was selected by Rigoberto González for a 2016 Poetry Society of America Fellowship, and her poem “I’m Trying to Write a Poem About a Virgin and It’s Awful” was selected for Best New Poets 2015 by Tracy K. Smith. Her poems have also appeared or are forthcoming in the New Yorker, Boston Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Iowa Review, and The Antioch Review. Learn more about Sotelo and sign up for updates about Virgin here»

The Jake Adam York Prize is facilitated by the editors of Copper Nickel, and the winning manuscript is published by Milkweed Editions. The prize seeks to honor Jake’s name and legacy with a top-tier, ethical book prize that offers not just publication, but also high-quality design, marketing, and a strong national distribution. About the prize, Milkweed publisher and CEO Daniel Slager said:

“We are very excited to be partnering with Copper Nickel, and to be publishing Analicia Sotelo’s Virgin, an exceptionally exciting debut collection of poems. We are also touched to be part of launching a poetry prize named after Jake Adam York, a poet whose life and work expanded our collective sense of the role poetry plays in public life.”

About the inaugural prize, Wayne Miller, editor of Copper Nickel, added:

“There were almost 800 manuscripts submitted to the prize this year, which our screeners narrowed to 16 finalists. It’s our opinion that every one of these finalist manuscripts is outstanding and imminently publishable.”

The finalists were:

Caylin Capra-Thomas, All Lit Things Predict Their Own Demise
Kelly Davio, The Book of the Unreal Woman
Dante Di Stefano, Ill Angels
Charles Jensen, Nanopedia
Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Interrogation Room
Mia Malhotra, When I See You Again, It Will Be with a Different Face
Bernard Matambo, Stray
Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum, Visiting Hours: Poems
Brianna Noll, When We Were Mist
Molly Spencer, Relic and the Plum
Ryann Stevenson, The New Midwest
Nomi Stone, Kill Class
Greg Wrenn, Sanctuary
Jenny Xie, Eye Level
Kim Young, Tigers

An “astonishingly good” group of semifinalists were:

Nikia Chaney, us mouth
John Lee Clark, Goldilocks in Denial
Brian Clifton, Muzzle
James Ellenberger, Yes Rushes to Meet the Wound
Leah Falk, To Look After and Use
Landon Godfrey, Doubts
Mark Gosztyla, Be Missing
Julie Hanson, View-Master
Gary Jackson, amnesiac
Virginia Konchan, Blackstar
Tyler Mills, Salt Masks
Chad Parmenter, vivienne’s recovery
Kate Partridge, Northern Ledger
Michelle Peñaloza, Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire
Vivian Faith Prescott, Bitter Water People
Corey Van Landingham, Lover Letter to Who Owns the Heavens
July Westhale, Blythe

And because screeners do essential—if too-often unsung—evaluative work narrowing the field of entrants, we would like to thank them all publicly:

Brian Barker, author of The Black Ocean
Nicky Beer, author of The Octopus Game
David J. Daniels, author of Clean
Sean Hill, author of Dangerous Goods
Sara Michas-Martin, author of Gray Matter
Wayne Miller, author of Post-
Emily Perez, author of House of Sugar, House of Stone
Chris Santiago, author of Tula

The Jake Adam York Prize for a first or second collection of poems will reopen for submissions from July 1 to October 15, 2017. The final judge will be poet Victoria Chang. More information regarding eligibility and submission guidelines may be found on Copper Nickel’s website»