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April 30 Snyder Prize Deadline Approaches

Just over two weeks remain to submit your book-length manuscript for consideration in the Ashland Poetry Press Richard Snyder Memorial Publication Prize.  Manuscripts may be submitted by mail or online through  For complete guidelines, visit our Book Contest Guidelines page.



Ashland Poetry Press at AWP 2012

Ashland Poetry Press is honored to be a major sponsor of the AWP Conference in Chicago alongside Ashland University’s MFA Program and River Teeth. Visit our booth throughout the conference for great deals on our authors’ books.

The press will hold a reading at The Court, Columbia College, Chicago on Friday, March 2 at 3 p.m.  APP Authors Mary Makofske, Jason Schneiderman, Richard Jackson, Marc J. Sheehan, Helen Pruitt Wallace, and Lorna Knowles Blake will read. 

Visit Booth #503 for these APP author signings, and pick up a sweet treat, too:

Richard Jackson – Thursday, March 1, 3 p.m.
Helen Pruitt Wallace – Thursday, March 1, 4 p.m.
Marc J. Sheehan – Friday, March 2, 12:30 p.m.
Stephen Haven – Friday, March 2, 1:30 p.m.

Blue Orange by Robert Grunst

Blue Orange by Robert GrunstNew from the Ashland Poetry Press:

Blue Orange

by Robert Grunst 

Winner of the Robert McGovern Publication Prize

Publication Date: May 15, 2012 

978-0-912592-12-1 | $15.95

“Blue Orange is an extraordinarily vibrant book, peopled with vivid characters—Smethers, Dottie, Ramón—come alive, singing gospel, bowling, planting, harvesting, driving to Korea in an old Ford. The vignettes make one nostalgic for a carefree, exultant small town mid-America, even if this world seems oddly archetypal, hyper-real and historicized in a tintype.  Even if, like Gaspar and Miguel Corte Real’s, Donald’s whereabouts will never be settled; even if roofs and swing set sets are treacherous.  Even if the dogs….  Beyond family and tribe the book attempts a daring global reach in various colorful travel poems: exuberant flora and fauna assert themselves—marmosets, shrikes, horses telling tales and leaping out of their otherworldly Latin America taxonomies, making ‘elsewhere’ here.  Ultimately, this book is a joyous reading adventure, making even the most blue-cast among us sing ‘hallelujah!’ and devour tasty oranges.   I love this book!”

– Marilyn Chin

 “In Robert Grunst’s poems the city’s forgotten signs rise from memory into mid-day light. Blue Orange conveys the luster of words, revealing both an older and brightened sense of the world. These poems are at once both shrewd and true.”  

 – Stephen Kuusisto

 “The blue orange is something forgotten in a fruit drawer, spoiling, before its discovery releases a second beauty. The image serves the poet well in poems that recover ghosts of family members and his own childhood, lives of hard labor and damage, lives he honors. The ripe orange is something else entirely, appearing as it does in poems about the now—full of loved ones and travel to remote, strange places—where the speaker hopes to find ‘something marvelous / some inconceivable / inscape // Instead you chance upon a world / of grief.’ The journey of the book, then, brings us from dimness into light, to the bite of the fruit, to the best gift: the sweet acid of the present in the mouth.”

– Richard Robbins

Robert GrunstRobert Grunst’s first collection of poems is The Smallest Bird in North America (New Issues, 2000).  His poems have appeared in American Literary Review, Cimarron Review, The Iowa Review, Nimrod, Poetry East, Seneca Review, Tar River Poetry, and many other magazines.  His essays focusing on the history and culture of the Great Lakes commercial fishery have appeared in a number of publications including Inland Seas, Lake Superior Magazine, and Michigan History Magazine. Grunst was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana and raised in Holland, Michigan on the western shore of Lake Michigan.  He taught 9th grade English for the Midland, Michigan Public Schools and subsequently spent three years working as a gillnet fisherman and engineer on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. He teaches a variety of courses including creative writing as Professor in the English Department at St. Catherine University in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Gabriel Spera Wins Richard Snyder Prize

Congratulations to Gabriel Spera, whose manuscript, The Rigid Body, was chosen by Natasha Trethewey as the winner of the 2011 Richard Snyder Memorial Publication Prize!  Spera’s manuscript was one of nine finalists selected from 408 entries that were screened by APP Editor Deborah Fleming.  The Rigid Body will be published in fall 2012.

Gabriel’s first book of poems, The Standing Wave, was published by HarperCollins (New York) in 2003.  It was selected for the 2002 National Poetry Series and also received the 2004 Literary Book Award for Poetry from PEN USA-West. Spera’s poems have appeared in journals such as Chicago Review, Crazyhorse, Doubletake, Epoch, Folio, Greensboro Review, Laurel Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Missouri Review, New England Review, Ontario Review, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, and Southern Review. His work was also featured in The Best American Poetry 2000. He grew up in New Jersey and lives in Los Angeles.

The 2012 Richard Snyder Publication Prize deadline is April 30, 2012.  Guidelines for this year’s contest are available on this blog.  The 2012 contest will be judged by Elizabeth Spires.  This year’s entrants may choose to submit their manuscripts electronically through Submittable.

Side Note: The Ashland Poetry Press website will be undergoing a redesign.  In the meantime, those interested in the goings-on of the press should sign up for our electronic newsletter and continue following this blog.  Thank you for understanding!

Snyder Prize Announcement Soon!

The press and its editors apologize for the delay in announcing the Snyder Prize winner. The review process took longer than usual this year, and the finalists are now with the judge, Natasha Trethewey. We hope to have an announcement for 2011’s contest very soon.

The 2012 guidelines for the Snyder Prize will also be posted soon, including the ability to submit your manuscript electronically.

Thank you for your patience as we make our final selection!

Blake Reading on Cape Cod

Lorna Knowles Blake, author of Permanent Address, will present a reading and signing at the Brewster Ladies Library on Cape Cod November 10, 2011 at 2 p.m. in the library auditorium. Her collec-tion is highly recommended by Library Journal: “This collection celebrates the charm and grace that belong to domestic life, the world in which love has built its house. A smart and thoughtful collection.” Ms. Blake was born in Havana and lived in Cuba, South America and Puerto Rico before moving to the United States.

For more information, visit

Off-Site Reading by APP Poets at AWP 2012

Recently published poets from the Ashland Poetry Press will present a reading at Columbia College Chicago during the AWP Conference Friday, March 2, 2012 from 3-5 p.m. The reading will take place at The Court, located at 731 S. Plymouth Court, about two blocks west of the AWP Conference hotels.  Readers will include Richard Jackson, author of APP-published books Resonance and Unauthorized Autobiography, as well as recent winners of the Richard Snyder Publication Prize: Mary Makofske, Jason Schneiderman, Marc J. Sheehan, Helen Pruitt Wallace, and Lorna Knowles Blake.

Richard Jackson is the author of ten books of poems including Resonance (Ashland Poetry Press, 2010) (winner of the Eric Hoffer Award in poetry), Half Lives: Petrarchan Poems (2004) and Unauthorized Autobiography: New and Selected Poems (Ashland Poetry Press, 2003). He has also published two books of translations, Last Voyage: The Poems of Giovanni Pascoli from Italian (2010) and Alexandar Persolja’s Journey of the Sun from Slovene (2008). He is also the author of two crucial books, Acts of Mind: Conversations with American Poets (Choice Award) and Dismantling Time in Contemporary Poetry (Agee Award Winner), and has edited two anthologies of Slovene poetry, as well as the journal Poetry Miscellany.

Lorna Knowles Blake is the author of Permanent Address (Ashland Poetry Press, 2008). Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, The Bell­ingham Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Hudson Review and other journals, as well as in several anthologies.

Mary Makofske is the author of Traction (Ashland Poetry Press, 2011), The Disappearance of Gargoyles (Thorntree Press, 1988) and Eating Nasturtiums (1998), winner of a Flume Press chapbook competition. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Mississippi Review, Poetry East, ZONE 3, American Poetry Review, Natural Bridge, Calyx, Louisville Review, and other journals and anthologies.

Helen Pruitt Wallace is the author of Shimming the Glass House (Ashland Poetry Press, 2008), which won a Bronze Award in Poetry in the Florida Book Awards. Wallace has published poems in The Literary Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Cumberland Review, Nimrod International, Tampa Review, and other journals and anthologies, and served as co-editor of the anthology Isle of Flowers published by Anhinga Press.

Jason Schneiderman is the author of Striking Surface (Ashland Poetry Press, 2010) (finalist for the 2011 Eric Hoffer Award), and Sublimation Point, a Stahlecker Selection from Four Way Books. His poetry and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, The Best American Poetry, Grand Street, The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, Story Quarterly, and Tin House among other places.

Marc J. Sheehan is the author of Vengeful Hymns (Ashland Poetry Press, 2009), which was the runner-up for the Society of Midland Authors book of the year in poetry, and Greatest Hits (New Issues Press, 1998). His poems have appeared in anthologies from Fine Madness, Passages North, and Milkweed Editions, among others.