Daniel Lassell wins Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize

June 12, 2020

Congratulations to Daniel Lassell, whose manuscript Spit was selected by judge Gabrielle Calvocoressi as winner of the 2020 Wheelbarrow Books (Emerging) Poetry Prize. Lassell will receive a $1,000 prize, and Spit will be published by MSU Press in 2021.

“This book, to me, seems timeless and utterly present in its desire," writes judge Gabrielle Calvocoressi, "through the hard work of formal rigor and dreaming, to look deeply at the damaged and often beautiful world as a means of making something new. [It is] a book full with a seemingly tight focus that kept reminding me of all the complexities and harms and beauties of the larger world outside. A book about agrarian life that touches on faith, violence, the tick-borne illnesses that seem to be bringing so many bodies low, in this era where all of our bodies are in danger. It is a book that takes account of itself and the agrarian life is a lens but never a veil, never an idyll. Life is hard in these poems. And the body keeps persevering as it also attempts to see the possibility of another way of being."

Finalists for this eighth round are West Portal by Benjamin Gucciardi, Acoustic Shadows by Ceridwen Hall, Breath on a Coal by Anne Haven McDonnell, and We Hold These Truths by Mitchell Nobis.

Spit will be the eighth title published under the Wheelbarrow Books imprint.

Established in 2016, Wheelbarrow Books is an imprint of the RCAH Center for Poetry at MSU, with publication and distribution by the MSU Press. The Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize is awarded to one emerging and one established poet annually.

Full announcement here.