BWPhotoAhsahta Press is pleased to announce the winner of the thirteenth annual Sawtooth Poetry Prize competition: Aaron Apps of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, whose manuscript Dear Herculine was selected by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge. He will receive the $1,500 prize in addition to the publication of his book by Ahsahta Press in January 2015. Gabriel Gudding of Bloomington, Illinois, has been named runner-up for his manuscript Rivers for Animals, which will be published in September 2015.

Berssenbrugge, author of Hello, the Roses and I Love Artists, among many other books, selected the winner from among nearly 600 entries, 40 of which were named semifinalists. Of that group, 21 were named finalists for the prize. [List follows.]

Aaron Apps is a PhD student in English Literature at Brown University. He also holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Minnesota. His first book of poetry, Compos(t) Mentis, came out from Blazevox [Books] in 2012, and his second book of nonfiction, Intersex: A Memoir, is forthcoming from Tarpaulin Sky Press in 2014.  His writing has appeared in numerous journals, including Pleiades, LIT, Washington Square Review, Puerto del Sol, Los Angeles Review, and Carolina Quarterly.

Ahsahta Press, named for the Mandan word for “Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep,” was founded in 1974 and publishes seven to ten books of poetry per year, one of which is the winner of its annual contest. A judge has not yet been named for the 2015 contest.

Ahsahta Press is based at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho, and is directed by Janet Holmes, a poet and professor in the MFA Program for Creative Writing at Boise State.


Editorial Board for 2014-2015: 

Denise Bickford

Katie Fuller

Janet Holmes, director

Adrian Kien, assistant director

Laura Roghaar

Elizabeth Smith

Kerri Webster




Aaron Apps, Dear Herculine

Aaron Apps, Queer Fat

C. Dylan Bassett, The Invention of Monsters / Plays for the Theatre

Eric Baus, How I Became a Hum

Ashley Chambers, The People I Make

Brett DeFries, Here is One Hand

Carolina Ebeid, You Ask Me to Talk About the Interior

Gabriel Gudding, Rivers for Animals

HR. Hegnauer, When the Bird Is not a Human

Kevin Holden, Aspen

Elisabeth Houston, Dollhouse Poems

Jen Hyde, Hua Shi Hua: Drawings and Poems from China

Jacqueline Kari, Twa: A Masque

Jennifer Kronovet, Loan Words

Jill Magi, Gift

Matthew Mahaney, Actual Echo

Shane McRae, The Animal Too Big to Kill

Solmaz Sharif, Look

Sasha Steensen, Gatherest

Joshua Marie Wilkinson, The Woods

Felicia Zamora, Quotient




Daniel Coudriet, The Lost Parade

Adam O. Davis, Index of Haunted Houses

Julia Drescher, V | Hard Island

Julia Drescher, Plural Bell

Lawrence Eby, Machinist in the Snow

Leora Fridman, The Riots

Derek Gromadzki, Pilgrimage Suites

Paul Hlava, The Gloria Poems

Anna Maria Hong, The Glass Age: Sonnets

Krystal Languell, Tonight This Is Our Last Song

David Levine, This Is not Winter

W. M. Lobko, Elegy in Gimbal Lock

Anna Soteria Morrison, Creature of the Form

Andrea Rexilius, New Organism: Essais

Holly Simonsen, S AL T F LA T

Steven Toussaint, The Bellfounder

Danielle Wheeler, Some Horror, Some Horror, Singing in the Fields

Joshua Marie Wilkinson, The Easement

Corey Zeller, Privacy Settings


Thank you to all who entered.