Awards & Prizes

Ava Nathaniel Winter wins 2023 National Poetry Series

Milkweed Staff — 09/25/2023

We are thrilled to announce that Ava Nathaniel Winter has been named one of five winners of the 2023 National Poetry Series. Her manuscript Transgenesis was selected by poet Sean Hill and will be published by Milkweed Editions in August 2024. In addition to publication, Winter will receive $10,000.

Ava Nathaniel Winter is the author of a poetry chapbook, Safe House. Her poetry has appeared in The Baffler, Beloit Poetry Journal, Poetry International, Room, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. She served as a Stadler Fellow at Bucknell University and received an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. Ava holds an M.F.A. from the Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, where she teaches in the Department of English and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

 Judge Sean Hill, author of Dangerous Goods, describes Transgenesis as follows:

“Ava Nathaniel Winter’s Transgenesis puts us in the presence of a curious and brilliant mind. They seek to understand past deadly bigotries—the Shoah and lynchings—as a way of surviving the present and imagining a future of change. There is querying in these poems, which delve into various archives and engage with historical texts—old stories—and question the market for Nazi and KKK memorabilia and other material culture from historic atrocities. These kept objects and texts are carefully considered as the speaker ruminates on masculinity, gender, and discrimination, sharing intimate moments wherein the speaker sees and is seen in their body. Ultimately, these care-filled poems provide the reader with nourishment. You will be changed for the better by reading this necessary book—I am immensely grateful to see it in the world.”

 Previous winners published by Milkweed Editions include I Love Information by Courtney Bush, Ask the Brindled by Noʻu Revilla selected by Rick Barot, Philomath by Devon Walker-Figueroa, selected by Sally Keith; Thrown in the Throat by Benjamin Garcia, selected by Kazim Ali; Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers by Jake Skeets, selected by Kathy Fagan; feeld by Jos Charles, selected by Fady Joudah; I Know Your Kind by William Brewer, selected by Ada Limón; Not on the Last Day, but on the Very Last by Justin Boening, selected by Wayne Miller; Double Jinx by Nancy Reddy, selected by Alex Lemon; Bone Map by Sara Eliza Johnson, selected by Martha Collins; and Visiting Hours at the Color Line by Ed Pavlić, selected by Dan Beachy-Quick. See all previous winners and books here.

Learn more the National Poetry Series and other prize opportunities here.