Authors / Submissions

K. Iver Wins the 2022 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry

Milkweed Staff — 06/27/2022

Milkweed Editions is thrilled to announce that K. Iver has won the 2022 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry. For their poetry collection Short Film Starring My Beloved’s Red Bronco, selected by Tyehimba Jess, Iver will receive $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions in January 2023.

K. Iver is a nonbinary trans poet born in Mississippi. Their work has appeared in Boston Review, Gulf Coast, The Adroit, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. They are the 2021-2022 Ronald Wallace Poetry Fellow for the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and the recipient of the 2022 Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Residency Grant. They have a Ph.D. in Poetry at Florida State University. They live in Madison, Wisconsin.

After learning they had won the prize, K. Iver reflected:

“I’m thrilled to have won the Ballard Spahr Prize and to be a part of Milkweed Editions. Previous winners are some of my favorite poets and it’s bewildering to be among them. Winning will allow me to finally move on from archiving a story that spans my entire young life. Writing these poems has helped me out of despair and centered my attention on the people and memories deserving of it. I submitted Short Film to Milkweed in February, right at the deadline, hoping for some official permission to put the story down. I’m truly grateful that it has a home here.”

In his prize judgment for the winning collection, Tyehimba Jess wrote:

“K. Iver’s Short Film Starring My Beloved’s Red Bronco is a gleaming counter-narrative of gender, place, and class. Framed by grief and longing, the poet’s vivid and eclectic imagination sprawls through each poem, wrestling with mortality and ideas of transgression. The versatility of images, and the bright energy that pervades and suffuses this work, is a triumph.”

We are also pleased to acknowledge the finalists for this year’s prize:

Brianna Postlewait, for hunting
Brian Batchelor, for Disfigured Hours
Helena Mesa, for A Distance Too Bright
Kate Lucas, for In This Light

We look forward to publishing Short Film Starring My Beloved’s Red Bronco in January 2023. Please join us in congratulating K.!