Established in 1998, Lost Horse Press—a nonprofit independent press—publishes poetry titles by emerging as well as established poets, and makes available other fine contemporary literature through cultural, educational, and publishing programs and activities. Lost Horse Press is dedicated to works—often ignored by conglomerate publishers—which are so much in danger of vanishing into obscurity in what has become the age of chain stores and mass appeal food, movies, art and books.
LOST HORSE PRESS is now accepting submissions for the Idaho Prize for Poetry 2023. All US poets are eligible. Entries must be postmarked by 15 May 2023, winners will be announced by 15 August 2023. The contest carries a $1000 cash prize, publication by Lost Horse Press, plus 20 comp author copies. An entry fee of $28.00 will be charged when you submit your manuscript online using Submittable.com. The 2023 Final Judge will be announced shortly.
Winner of the IDAHO PRIZE FOR POETRY 2022
Final Judge Dzvinia Orlowsky
Lost Horse Press is thrilled to announce the winner of the Idaho Prize for Poetry 2022—selected by incomparable and beautiful final judge Dzvinia Orlowsky—is Migrations & Other Exiles by Letisia Cruz.
Congratulations to Letisia Cruz, a huge thank you to our first reader Jackson Holbert, hat tip to final judge Dzvinia Orlowsky, and thanks a million to all who submitted manuscripts.
Comments by Dzvinia Orlowsky:
"With a Bachelardian dreaminess and a poetic language that is both sensuous and incisive, Migrations and Other Exiles questions the contradictory nature of human love. Right from the opening poem, “Promise,” the speaker attempts to shape an unidentified other into a graceful swan-like survivor only to renege: “I carved her neck long/so that when the rains came /she might hold it above /water. You will not drown,/ I promised her. But then her/ mouth and eyes filled and I/ let them. What begins with hope, complex and lucent—a flight of spirit—often ends with the rarity or inability to fly: “Remember that one time/ we flew? Like we were birds/ with thrift-store wings.” Other times, it’s the literal, hard-hitting world of self-harming burns and gunshots that violate the boundaries of self. Precise and elegant, redemptive in its musicality and stunning imagery, Migrations and Other Exiles is a remarkable, stand-out, collection."
Winner of the IDAHO PRIZE FOR POETRY 2021
Final Judge Ilya Kaminsky
Lost Horse Press is delighted to announce the winner of the Idaho Prize for Poetry 2021—selected by final judge Ilya Kaminsky—is Lisa Allen Ortiz’s STEM.
Ilya Kaminsky’s comments:
“Beautiful manuscript of lyrical poems that surprise as much as they they tell the truth about one’s day, one’s life. There is honesty here that isn’t flat, doesn’t tractor over the reader, but uplifts one, helps to get through the day. This honesty isn’t in any way confessional, unless by confessional we mean a voice of an earthling sharing what it means to be alive on this planet here, today. This is a terrific book of poems.”
The Finalist is Steven Gehrke’s VISITATION. Ilya Kaminsky’s remark about that manuscript: “There is a large voice in this book, one that is able to tell a story of a life, of a time period, of true hardships, without hesitation, and without imposition, but straightforwardly and with a dance of lyric asides. There is grief here, and tenderness. There is wisdom.”
The Runner-Up is Sam Magavern’s LOOSE CHANGE, about which Ilya writes: “The play, the wit, and knowledge of these poems touched me, and I am grateful for the chance to have read them. There is a beautiful mind that moves these lines, that plays and is often astonished by what that play brings forth. The reader, too, is astonished.”
Lost Horse Press congratulates Lisa Allen Ortiz and the finalists, and sends a hearty Thank You our dedicated, long-time first reader Jackson Holbert, and to final judge, Ilya kaminsky. Thank you as well to all who submitted to the Idaho Prize for Poetry 2021. Congratualtions!
Winner of the IDAHO PRIZE FOR POETRY 2020
Final Judge Jackson Holbert
THE 2020 WINNER
Ticker by Mark Neely
Mark Neely is the author of Beasts of the Hill and Dirty Bomb, both from Oberlin College Press. His awards include an NEA Poetry Fellowship, an Indiana Individual Artist grant, the FIELD Poetry Prize, and the Concrete Wolf Chapbook prize for Four of a Kind. He is a professor of English at Ball State University and a senior editor at River Teeth: a Journal of Nonfiction Narrative. More about him, including links to his writing, can be found at www.markneely.com.
Mark Neely’s third collection, Ticker, follows the life of its main character, Bruce, as he navigates marriage, children, aging parents, politics, race, religion, global catastrophe, and the irrelevance of middle age. Throughout the book the dueling voices in Bruce’s head—which range from comic to bitter to revelatory—compete for control of his inner life. The poems range from formal to freewheeling, showcasing a unique and essential voice in American poetry.
Recovery Commands, Abby Murray
Say What a River Is, Kathryn Hunt
Doll Apollo, Melissa Ginsburg
In the Hinges of the World, Marjorie Stein
Celebrate Pride with Lockheed Martin, Jake Byrne
Bizarre, Nathaniel Perry
Curriculum, Meghan Dunn
All That is Not the Angel, Travis Helms
Prayer Book for the New Heretic, C. Pope
An Archaeology of Light, Stuart Lishan
American Eclipse, Kateri Kosek
Heavier Than Sky, David Moolten
Selected Notes on Silence and Noise, Suzanne Wise
Glass Puppets Address the Future, Linda Cooper
Left Toward Sunset, David Semanki
Acoustic Shadows, Ceridwen Hall
Lost Horse Press thanks all poets for their particiaption and submissions to the Idaho Prize for Poetry 2020. A hearty congratualtions to the finalists and winner Mark Neely. And, a robust thank you to final judge, Jackson Holbert, a gifted writer and a diligent, brilliant editor to Lost Horse Press. Congratulations!
THE WINNING MANUSCRIPT 2019
Lost Horse Press is pleased to announce the winner of the Idaho Prize for Poetry 2019 is Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach’s Don’t Touch the Bones, selected by Final Judge Sandra Alcosser.
Rich in detail, Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach’s Don’t Touch the Bones is a compelling collection that examines the pain of the world’s, a nation’s, and a family’s history.
ABOUT THE WINNING POET
Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach emigrated from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine as a Jewish refugee when she was six years old. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of The Many Names for Mother, winner the Wick Poetry Prize (Kent State University Press, 2019) and The Bear Who Ate the Stars (Split Lip Press, 2014). Her poems appear in POETRY, American Poetry Review, and The Nation, among others. Her work has been selected for Best New Poets, the Williams Carlos Williams University Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and New South’s Poetry Prize. Julia is the editor of Construction Magazine.
SHORT LIST 2019
Light Prop for an Electric Stage Arne Weingart, Chicago, IL
Last Call for Elysium M. Shayne Bell, Rexburg, ID
Say What a River Is Kathryn Hunt, Port Townsend, WA
The Clearing Allison Adair, Brookline, MA
LONG LIST 2019
peep Danielle Blau, Ridgewood, NY
Alien Louise Akers, Dedham, MA
Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow Robert Duncan
The Trades Caroline Goodwin, Montara, CA
Foxlogic, Fireweed Jennifer Sweeney, Redlands, CA
Apoptosis Samuel Gilpin, Henderson, NV
Racecar Jesus Travis Mossotti, St. Louis, MO
LOST HORSE PRESS thanks all poets who submitted their work to The Idaho Prize for Poetry 2019; thanks to our First Reader Jackson Holbert for his astute work; a heartfelt thank you to Sandra Alcosser, Final Judge; and, robust congratulations to Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach.
THE IDAHO PRIZE FOR POETRY 2018
The winner of the 2018 Idaho Prize for Poetry, selected by Piotr Florczyk, is Jason Gray's Radiation King.
Apocalyptic, cautionary, but ultimately redemptive, Jason Gray’s poems force us to face up to years of natural and human degradation committed in the name of progress. “If only the metal / Would melt then maybe so would time,” the poet writes, but of course the time doesn’t bend to our wishes; rather, it inscribes our faces and minds with the truth of our deeds, especially those we’d wish to erase. Indeed, these taut poems praise the concreteness of the world—its physics and our physicality—with intelligence and music that are hard to find these days, when so much of contemporary verse seems beholden to overwrought conceptual designs or ready-made narratives. If you wonder what happened to the unassuming voice of the poet full of awe and doubt, or yearn for poems resembling, to paraphrase another poet, matches lit in the dark, then Radiation King should be at the top of your reading list. Jason Gray’s work is the wave that “flashes its white / Smile / Right before it sweeps / You under.” And this book, a small masterpiece of love and devotion to everything that makes the universe fantastic, is that apple that the poet wishes to see “rise into the tree.”
—Piotr Florczyk, Final Judge
ABOUT THE WINNING POET
Jason Gray is the author of Photographing Eden, winner of the 2008 Hollis Summers Prize, and published by Ohio University Press. He has also published two chapbooks, How to Paint the Savior Dead (Kent State UP, 2007) and Adam & Eve Go to the Zoo (Dream Horse Press, 2003). His poems have appeared in Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Literary Imagination, Poetry Ireland Review, and many other places. He has also reviewed poetry, nonfiction, and fiction for The Southern Review, The Missouri Review, Shenandoah, The Journal, and elsewhere. His poems have been anthologized and reprinted on Verse Daily. Besides writing, he spends time taking pictures of things.
The 2018 SHORT LIST
Don’t Touch the Bones Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach
The Condition As a Quiet Room Heidi Poon
Of Water Dan Lechay
Pennsylvania Furnace Julie Swarstad Johnson
The Dreams of Weapons Melissa Ginsburg
LOST HORSE PRESS thanks all poets who submitted their work to The Idaho Prize for Poetry 2018; thanks to our First Reader Jackson Holbert for his keen reading skills; a hearty thank you to Piotr Florczyk, Final Judge, for his insightful choice; and, most of all, congratulations to Jason Gray.
LOST HORSE PRESS is now accepting submissions for the Idaho Prize for Poetry 2023. All US poets are eligible! Entries must be submitted by 15 May 2023, winners will be announced by 15 August 2023. The contest carries a $1000 cash prize, publication by Lost Horse Press, plus 20 comp author copies of the book. An entry fee of $28.00 (via PayPal) will be charged when you submit your manuscript online using Submittable.com. The Final Judge for 2023 will be announced shortly.
Send manuscripts of 48 or more pages of poetry, no more than one poem per page, no smaller than 12 point type in an easily readable font. Poems may have appeared in journals and chapbooks, but not in full-length, single-author collections.
Name, address, phone number, and email address—all contact information—should appear on the cover letter only. The goal is “blind” judging. Author’s name should not appear anywhere in manuscript except the cover letter.
No restriction on content, style, or subject—we’re looking for the best writing.
You will be charged $28.00 for your submission. Of this, a small portion goes to Submittable.com, who designed the program and provide support for it; the remaining fee supports the First Reader, the Final Judge, and publication of the winning title. To submit online: http://losthorsepress.submittable.com/submit