2021 Poetry Open Reading Period Selections Announced

Sundress Publications is thrilled to announce the results of the 2021 open reading period for full-length poetry manuscripts. The winning selections are: Heather Bartlett’s Another Word for Hunger, Tatiana Johnson-Boria’s Nocturne in Joy, and Athena Nassar’s Little Houses. Another Word for Hunger, Nocturne in Joy, and Little Houses are slated for publication in 2023.

Heather Bartlett’s poetry and prose appear widely in literary journals including Barrow Street, Lambda LiteraryThe Los Angeles Review, Ninth Letter, RHINO PoetryPoet Lore, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in poetry from Hunter College and is currently a professor of English and Writing at the State University of New York at Cortland. She is the founding editor of the online literary magazine Hoxie Gorge Review. She lives and writes in Ithaca, NY.

Tatiana Johnson-Boria (she/her) is a writer, artist, and educator. Her writing explores identity, trauma, especially inherited trauma, and what it means to heal. Her work has been selected as a finalist for The Prairie Schooner Book Prize, The Black Warrior Review Poetry Contest (2020), and others. She is a recipient of the 2021 MacDowell Fellowship and the 2021 Brother Thomas Fellowship. She’s received honorable mentions for the 2021 and 2020 Academy of American Poets Prize and is a 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee. Tatiana completed her MFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College and is a 2021 Tin House Scholar. She also serves on the board for VIDA: Literary Arts. Find her work in or forthcoming at Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Pleiades, and others.

Athena Nassar is an Egyptian-American poet, essayist, and short-story writer from Atlanta, Georgia. A finalist for the 2021 Poets Out Loud Prize, she is the winner of the 2020-2021 San Miguel Writers’ Conference Writing Contest, the 2021 Academy of American Poets College Prize, and the 2019 Scholastic National Gold Medal Portfolio Award, among other honors. Her work has appeared in The Academy of American Poets, Southern Humanities Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Salt Hill, Lake Effect, The McNeese Review, New Orleans Review, Zone 3, The Los Angeles Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly, PANK, and elsewhere. She is currently an undergraduate student at Emerson College, where she is the Head Poetry Editor of The Emerson Review.

Congratulations also to this year’s finalists and semifinalists:


Anthony Aguero, Palm Springs
Alyse Bensel, Ecophagy
Caitlin Cowan, Happy Everything
Caleb Curtiss, Mortal Kombat
Farnaz Fatemi, Sister Tongue*
Raye Hendrix, What Good Is Heaven
Ashley Roach-Freiman, Violator
Caroline Shea, Some Nerve
Mia Willis, the space between men*


Clayre Benzadón, Moon as Salted Lemon
Russell Brickey, Breath Elegies for Josephine
Jacob Bundenz, Spellwork for the Modern Pastel Witch
Ori Feinberg, Where Babies Come From
Ceridwen Hall, Acoustic Shadows
Emily Hansen, connected to nowhere
Jocelyn Heath, Cosmic Fugue
Rebekah Hewitt, En Caul
Tara Iacobucci, Thread, Bare
Christian Lozada, Skin is the Space Between Believing and Knowing
Tony Mancus, Same After Life
Anne McDonnell, Breath on a Coal
Rachel Stemple, Mimicries

* accepted elsewhere for publication


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