Wheeler Prize

The Journal / Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize

Each year, manuscripts by emerging and established poets are screened, in accordance with CLMP guidelines, by volunteer readers associated with The Journal and The Ohio State University English Department. Aimee Nezhukumatathil will select one full-length manuscript for publication by Mad Creek Books, the trade imprint of The Ohio State University Press. In addition to publication under a standard book contract, the winning author receives the Charles B. Wheeler prize of $2,500.

Submissions open September 1st and close October 9th for the annual The Journal/Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize.

  • Entries of at least 48 typed pages of original poetry must be submitted electronically during the month of September. The submitter’s name or other identifying information should appear only on a separate cover page and not within the document. All manuscripts will be read and judged anonymously.
  • Manuscripts must be previously unpublished. Some or all of the poems in the collection may have appeared in periodicals, chapbooks, or anthologies, but these must be identified in an acknowledgments page.
  • A nonrefundable handling fee of $23.00 or $11.50 for BIPOC poets will be charged for each entry. All entrants receive a one-year subscription to The Journal.
    • If it is a hardship to meet the submission fee, please contact our editor to discuss options for a fee waiver at prize@thejournalmag.org

Please direct all inquiries to prize@thejournalmag.org

Submit via Submittable starting September 1st: https://thejournal.submittable.com/submit


About the 2023 Judge:

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of the New York Times best-selling collection of nature essays, WORLD OF WONDERS: IN PRAISE OF FIREFLIES, WHALE SHARKS, & OTHER ASTONISHMENTS, which was chosen as Barnes and Noble’s Book of the Year and named a finalist for the Kirkus Prize. She also wrote four previous poetry collections including OCEANIC. Her most recent chapbook is LACE & PYRITE, a collaboration of epistolary garden poems with the poet Ross Gay.

Honors include a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pushcart Prize, and being named a Guggenheim Fellow in poetry. She is the first-ever poetry editor for SIERRA magazine, the story-telling arm of The Sierra Club. She is professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program and her forthcoming book of food essays is called BITE BY BITE.


About the 2023 Winner:

Austin Araujo is a writer from northwest Arkansas. His poems have recently appeared in Poetry, TriQuarterly, and Quarterly West. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, he lives in Oakland.


2023 Winner:
At the Park on the Edge of the Country by Austin Araujo

2023 Runner Up:
Unrivered by Donna Vorreyer

2023 Finalists:
Integumentary by Preeti Parikh
What We Did to Her Made the Water Rise by Meghann Plunkett
The Golden Hunting Years by Delaney Olmo

2023 Semi-Finalists:
Art/i/facts by Heidi Seaborn
Dragon Year by Timothy Saylor
Public House by Dylan Weir
Elegy with an Excess of Splendor by Alyssa Jewell
The Conditions by Jacob Griffin Hall
saltmouth by Celina McManus
Happiness Index by Melanie Tafejian
For as Long as We Can by K T Landon
Addition Apocalypse by Remi Recchia
Work of Breathing by Renee Emerson
We Left a Window Open to the Sea by Ellen Elder
True Mistakes by Lena Moses-Schmitt
Beatitudes for an Unseen Body by Danielle Weeks
Meuse is So Close to Muse by Elinor Ann Walker
Worth Burning by Mickie Kennedy
Possum Parade by Trey Rhone
In the Tongue I Was Born To by Avia Tadmor
Fugitive by Christopher Nelson
The Berceuse International Youth League & The St. Herménégilde Society for General Upkeep & Social Benefaction Presents Berceuse Parish by Burnside Soleil


About the 2022 Judge:

Marcus Jackson is a poet and photographer who studied in NYU’s graduate creative writing program and as a Cave Canem fellow. His poems and photographs have appeared in such publications as The American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine. His second book of poems, entitled Pardon My Heart (Northwestern University Press/TriQuarterly Books), was released in 2018. Of Pardon My Heart, Jeff Gordinier for The New York Times writes, “Jackson’s collection confirms the arrival of a thrilling new voice in American poetry, one whose writing, on page after page, has the fullness and glow of a jubilee.” Jackson lives with his wife and child in Columbus, Ohio, and he teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Ohio State.



About the 2022 Winner:

Hanae Jonas is a poet from Vermont. She is the author of a chapbook, Lowlands, published by Albion Books in 2022. Her poems have appeared in Kenyon ReviewZYZZYVABennington Review, jubilatPoem-a-Day, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and lives in Los Angeles.
2022 Finalists:

Redwork by Stefania Gomez
Winter Here by Jessica Tank
Alive in the Glamour Pit by Ashe Prevett
Ark by Terese Svoboda
Chase Street by Heather Treseler
The Brain Project by Pamela Hart
Asunder by Tafisha Edwards
Girl in a Bear Suit by Jennifer Jabaily-Blackburn
As the Mother by Xochiquetzal Candelaria
Zendo Mixtape by Jean Gallagher
Late Stage by Mark Neely
Milk for Gall by Natalie Tombasco
Answer with Hunger by Stacy Boe Miller

2022 Semi-Finalists:

If in Some Cataclysm by Anna Leahy
The Conditions by Jacob Griffin Hall
American Etymologies by Matthew Minicucci
Preferred Internal Landscape by Emma Winsor Wood
In Parachutes Descending by Tana Jean Welch
A Lifetime Trapped in Peach Brine by Tennessee Hill
Beckoned Back by Hell-Bent Blackbirds by H. L. Hix
Four Seasons by Aiden Heung
Makeshift Altar by Amy Alvarez
Afterlife by Michael Dhyne
Rupture by Monique-Adelle Callahan
CLOWNFISH by Dana Roeser
Dutch Landscapes of the American Great Lakes by Max Schleicher
Foreign Tongue by Greg Nicholl
Fire Index by Bethany Breitland
The Golden Hunting Years by Delaney  Olmo
Some Animal by Fay Dillof
Domestica by Samuel Piccone
Phototaxis by Alyssa Jewell
The Singing River by Benjamin Morris
Fortunate Fall by Frank Paino
Moon Jellyfish by Jennifer Martelli
Bucolic by Lance Larsen
The Return from Calvary by Mary Ann Samyn
Beautiful, Grave by Cristina Correa
WATERMARK: Poems of the Great Flood of 1889 by Barbara Sabol
Kith Nor Kin (Foster) Care and Mother (ing) by Rebecca Morton
Integumentary by Preeti Parikh
En Caul by Rebekah Hewitt
Portrait of the Alcoholic as a Father by Karan Kapoor

About the 2021 Judge:

Kathy Fagan’s latest collection is Sycamore (Milkweed Editions, 2017), a finalist for the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. She is also the author of the National Poetry Series selection The Raft (Dutton, 1985), the Vassar Miller Prize winner MOVING & ST RAGE (Univ of North Texas, 1999), The Charm (Zoo, 2002), and Lip (Carnegie Mellon UP, 2009). Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, Slate, FIELD, Narrative, The New Republic, The Nation, and Poetry, among other literary magazines, and is widely anthologized. Fagan was named Ohio Poet of the Year for 2017, and is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Frost Place, Ohioana, Greater Columbus Arts Council, and the Ohio Arts Council. The Director of Creative Writing and the MFA Program at The Ohio State University, she is currently Professor of English, Co-editor of the OSU Press Wheeler Prize for Poetry series, and Advisor to The Journal.

About the 2021 Winner:

Mag Gabbert holds a PhD in creative writing from Texas Tech University and an MFA from The University of California at Riverside. She is the author of the chapbook Minml Poems (Cooper Dillon Books, 2020), and her work can also be found in 32 Poems, Pleiades, The Paris Review Daily, The Massachusetts Review, Waxwing, and many other journals. She’s received poetry fellowships from Idyllwild Arts and Poetry at Round Top, and in 2021 she was awarded a 92Y Discovery Award. She teaches at Southern Methodist University and serves as the interviews editor for Underblong Journal. For more information, please visit maggabbert.com.




2021 Finalists:

Softly Undercover by Hanae Jonas
Theophanies by Sarah Ghazal Ali
Good Grief, the Ground by Margaret Ray
Afterlife by Michael Dhyne

2021 Semi-Finalists:

Cassandra and the Ghost Bees by Christine Robbins
The Giant & Other Stories by Matthew Kelsey
The Parachutist by Jose Hernandez Diaz
Hypothesis by Josh English
Long Season by Stephanie Horvath
Internet Girls by JSA Lowe
BEFORELIGHT by Matthew Gellman
Girl in a Bear Suit by Jennifer Jabaily-Blackburn
Python with a Dog Inside It by Max McDonough
This Smile is Starting to Hurt by Dylan Loring
Greater Ghost by Christian Collier
Woman in a Body by Emily Hockaday
Loteria by Esteban Rodriguez
Shedding Season by Jane Morton
A Museum of False Futures by Connor Yeck
Borrowed Time by Luiza Flynn-Goodlett
What Good Is Heaven by Raye Hendrix
Harmonia by John Moessner
Temporal Anomalies by Matthew Broaddus
Red Ocher by Jessica Poli
Tender Headed by Olatunde Osinaike
Self-Portrait as Medusa by Stevie Edwards
Under What Hard Star by Brandon Lewis



About the 2020 Winner:

Quintin Collins (he/him) is a writer, editor, and the Solstice MFA Program’s assistant director. His writing appears in many print and online publications, and it includes his first full-length collection of poems, The Dandelion Speaks of Survival. Claim Tickets for Stolen People, this year’s winning manuscript, will be published by Mad Creek Books.


2020 Finalists:
Plat by Lindsey Webb
The House That Grief Built by Ronda Piszk Broatch
Dear Selection Committee by Melissa Studdard
Happy Everything by Caitlin Cowan
The Season of Our Addictions by Nancy Miller Gomez
Pending Light by Cate Lycurgus
2020 Semi-Finalists:
Killed Your Darling by Ayesha Raees
Talking to Yourself Is Fine by Sally Dawidoff
Earth : Space : The Sea : The City by Reyes Ramirez
The Symmetry of Fish by Su Cho
Ducks are for by Amanda Auerbach
Semaphore by Hazem Fahmy
Good Grief, the Ground by Margaret Ray
Love Letters to My Creditors by Jen DeGregorio
Corpora Syllabary by Lily Kosmicki
Where the Depths Reach Up by Jessica Tanck
Against Poetry by Suzanne Wise
Twang by Ben Kline
Ghost Family by Suzanne Manizza Roszak
Planet Hospital by Nicole Walker
In Kind by Maggie Queeney
Blocks World by Emma Catherine Perry
The Smaller the Window the Bigger the Night by Weston Cutter
Domestica by Samuel Piccone
Ode to Everything by Amie Whittemore
The Return from Calvary by Mary Ann Samyn
Lullaby with Incendiary Device by Dante Di Stefano
The Curve of the Earth by Freya Rohn
Boats in the Attic by Alison Powell
Wolf Trees by Katie Hartsock
No Spare People by Erin Hoover
The Shape of Other Lives in You by Todd Smith
Career Suicide by Charles Jensen
Fake Noose by Benjamin Aleshire
Wars Within by Ashley Bridges
Fat Heart by Sara Watson
Mothman Apocrypha by Robert Lynn
/Three/ /Movements/ by Curtis Crisler
One Hundred Hearses: Elegy for the Forgotten by Richard Jespers
The Bright Cockatiel by Paul Martin
Born Again by Michael Hardin
Dirty Words by Sarah Lilius
Dual by Matthew Minicucci
Concentration by Arne Weingart
Double Bind by Caroline Crew
An Insomniac’s Slumber Party with Marilyn Monroe by Heidi Seaborn
Assembly Cut by Anthony Sutton
A Gray Realm The Ocean by Jennifer Atkinson


About the 2019 Winner:

Teri Ellen Cross Davis is the author of Haint, (Gival Press, 2016) winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. She is a Cave Canem fellow and a member of the Black Ladies Brunch Collective. She has received fellowships to attend the Soul Mountain Writer’s Retreat, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Hedgebrook, the Community of Writers Poetry Workshop, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is on the Advisory Council of Split This Rock Festival, a semi-finalist and finalist judge for the NEA’s Poetry Out Loud. She has received the Meret grant from the Freya Project and is an awardee of a 2019 Sustainable Arts Grant. Her work can be read online and in journals including: Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Delaware Poetry Review, Figure 1, Gargoyle, Harvard Review, Kestrel, Little Patuxent Review, Love’s Executive Order, Natural Bridge, North American Review, Mom Egg Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Poet Lore, and Tin House. She lives in Maryland with her husband, poet Hayes Davis and their two children.

2019 Finalists:
Self-Portrait with Cephalopod by Kathryn Smith
about:blank by Tracy Fuad
Self Portrait as Girl, Only Part Miracle by Vandana Khanna
Birds of Prey by M Soledad Caballero
Estate by Samn Stockwell
The Symmetry of Fish by Su Cho
The Right Blue Dream Home by Claire McQuerry
The Lantern Room by Chloe Honum
Sweet Beast by Gabriella R. Tallmadge
Requeening by Amanda Moore
Exceeds Us by Leah Osowski
2019 Semi-Finalists:
50 Things Kate Bush Taught Me About the Multiverse by Karyna McGlynn
A Pony Called Loneliness by Sonia Greenfield
After Mating for Life by Melissa Stephenson
Dead Language Hymnals by Brandon Thurman
Empires by Elizabeth Clark Wessel
Encyclopedia Dystopiapocalyptica by Steve Schroeder
hinge by Madeline Wattenberg
In Her Black Boundaries by Sarah Sousa
Ode to Earth in Translation by George Looney
Pending Light by Cate Lycurgus
Romantic Comedy by James Allen Hall
Seeing Things by Marjorie Maddox
The House That Grief Built by Rhonda Broatch
The Man Grave by Chris Salerno
The pressure of all that light by Holly Painter
The Propagation of Light by Jennifer Barber
Ticker by Mark Neely
West of the Dead by Chelsea Dingman