Concord poet’s collection wins prize

Published: 09-05-2023 3:00 PM

The winning manuscript and finalists for the 2023 Laura Boss Narrative Poetry Award include Miriam Levine of Concord. Her collection, “Forget About Sleep,” will be published in Spring 2024 by NYQ Books. This award also includes a $5,000 prize and 25 author copies and a featured reading at the book’s release..

The award’s final judge, José Antonio Rodríguez, author of “The Day’s Hard Edge,” says about the judging that “reading the manuscripts for the Laura Boss Poetry Foundation book contest was a true joy. ... In the winner, ‘Forget about Sleep’ by Miriam Levine, I found a collection suffused with the varied emotions and questions that come from a lifetime of memories - about childhood friends, adolescent romance, desire, pain, aging parents, parents of friends - about community and its relationship to the beautiful if indifferent natural world that nonetheless remains ever-open to meaning. Ultimately, the poems here trace the exquisite struggle to make meaning. Expansive and profound, ‘Forget about Sleep’ is a triumph.”

Five finalists were also selected from the more than 200 manuscripts submitted. They will each receive $100 awards and be invited to read poems from their manuscripts at the Poetry Center at PCCC in Paterson, New Jersey on March 16.

The five finalists and the manuscript titles are: Emily Hyland, “Divorced Business Partners”; Nancy Lubarsky, “Truth to the Rumors”; Stephen S. Mills, “We Will Always Be Perverts”; Sharon Kennedy-Nolle, “Not Waving,” and Sean Webb, “Disappointment Awaits.”

The submission period for the next award will be Jan. 1, to March 31. The final judge will be poet Jan Beatty. See laurabosspoetryfoundation.org/award for full details.

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