Awards & Prizes

Jackson Holbert Wins 2022 Max Ritvo Poetry Prize

Milkweed Staff — 12/07/2022

We are thrilled to announce that Jackson Holbert is the winner of the 2022 Max Ritvo Poetry Prize. His manuscript Winter Stranger was selected by judge Henri Cole and will be published in June 2023. In addition to publication, Holbert will receive $10,000.

Jackson Holbert was born and raised in eastern Washington. His poems have appeared in FIELD, The Nation, and Poetry. He received an MFA in Poetry from the Michener Center for Writers. He is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and lives in Oakland.

Cole describes Winter Stranger as follows: “In this beautiful book, poems of life are tempered by the shadow of mortality. Written in an exacting, minimalist style, with great silence, it records the tumult, the solemnity, and the spiritual survival of a young man.”

Thank you to the Alan B. Slifka Foundation and its president, Riva Ariella Ritvo-Slifka, for supporting the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize.


“All poets are heroes. Your book is your hero story. Take your reader on an adventure.”
Max Ritvo

Max came into our life at Milkweed Editions in May 2016 and quickly became our hero. Although he passed away just four months later, our experience publishing Four Reincarnations has underscored what it means to champion writers who are our heroes. We are delighted and deeply honored to celebrate Max’s legacy with this prize, and to continue publishing outstanding emerging poets. Our profound gratitude to the Slifka Foundation and Riva Ariella Ritvo Slifka for making the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize possible.

Previous Max Ritvo Poetry Prize winners include Ryann Stevenson, Human Resources, Worldly Things by Michael Kleber-Diggs, The Clearing by Allison Adair, The Milk Hours by John James, and North American Stadiums by Grady Chambers.

Learn more about the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize and our poetry prizes here.