PRIZES 2018-05-06T13:50:18+00:00

2018 Nonfiction Prize judged by Ocean Vuong

Born in Saigon, poet and editor Ocean Vuong was raised in Hartford, Connecticut, and earned a BA at Brooklyn College (CUNY). Vuong is the author of the poetry collections Night Sky With Exit Wounds(2016), winner of the 2018 T.S. Eliot Prize, and the chapbooks No (2013) and Burnings (2010), which was an Over the Rainbow selection by the American Library Association. His work has been translated into Hindi, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese. His honors include fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, Poets House, Kundiman, and the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts as well as an Academy of American Poets Prize, an American Poetry Review Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets, a Pushcart Prize, and a Beloit Poetry Journal Chad Walsh Poetry Prize. In 2014, Vuong was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He received a Whiting Award in 2016. He is the former managing editor of Thrush Press and currently lives in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, where he is on faculty in the MFA program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
We are thrilled to announce that our annual Cosmonauts Avenue Nonfiction Prize is now open for submissions! Our judge is (deep breath)... Ocean Vuong
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What are we looking for? We love writing that is personal, necessary, darkly funny, unfunny, candid, unique, upsetting, untold, includes in-depth research into who bit Beyoncé, and writing that is deeply good and deeply you. The winner will receive $500 and publication in Cosmonauts Avenue. All long-listed pieces will also be considered for publication.
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SUBMIT NOW

Results to be announced July, 2018.

Results to be announced August, 2018.

Results to be announced August, 2018.

2018 Poetry Prize judged by Tommy Pico

Tommy "Teebs" Pico is the founder and editor in chief of birdsong, an antiracist/queer-positive collective, small press, and zine that publishes art and writing. With Morgan Parker he co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude (PWA). Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Brooklyn.
We’re thrilled to announce that our 2018 poetry prize is now open for submissions!!!  What kinda poetry are we looking for? We want work that elevates and amplifies underrepresented voices, work that shines a light somewhere we should be looking, but maybe aren’t, work that settles into our bones so we can carry it with us awhile. Send us your warm, your thoughtful, your unsettling, your funny & devastating, your necessary words. We can’t wait.

Aria Aber
George Abraham
Colette Arrand
S. Erin Batiste
Destiny O. Birdsong
Yolandi E Cruz Guerrero
Jameson Fitzpatrick
Faylita Hicks
Quincy Scott Jones
Kyle Lopez
Rena Priest
Maitreyi Ray
Robin Richardson
Monica Rico
Penelope Romo
Janelle Tan
travis tate
Rachelle Toarmino
Rashanda Williams

Congratulations to all who were longlisted and shortlisted. Winner will be announced later this month.

Aria Aber
George Abraham
Colette Arrand
Destiny O. Birdsong
Yolandi E Cruz Guerrero
Faylita Hicks
Quincy Scott Jones
Penelope Romo
Maitreyi Ray
Janelle Tan

Results to be announced in May, 2018.

2017 Fiction Prize judged by Porochista Khakpour

Porochista Khakpour is the author of the forthcoming memoir Sick (Harper Perennial, June 2018)—a “Most Anticipated Book of 2018,” according to The Boston Globe, Buzzfeed, HuffPost, Nylon, The Rumpus, The Millions, Bitch, Bustle, Autostraddle, and more. She also is the author of the novels The Last Illusion (Bloomsbury, 2014)—a 2014 "Best Book of the Year" according to NPR, Kirkus, Buzzfeed, Popmatters, Electric Literature, and more — and Sons and Other Flammable Objects (Grove, 2007)—the 2007 California Book Award winner in “First Fiction,” a Chicago Tribune’s “Fall’s Best,” and a New York Times “Editor’s Choice.” Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera America, BookforumSlate, Salon, Spin, CNN, The Daily Beast, Elle, and many other publications around the world.  She’s had fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the University of Leipzig (Picador Guest Professorship), Yaddo, Ucross, and Northwestern University’s Academy for Alternative Journalism, among others. Currently, she is guest faculty at VCFA and Stonecoast's MFA programs as well as Contributing Editor at The Evergreen Review and The Offing. Born in Tehran and raised in the Los Angeles area, she lives in New York City’s Harlem.

A. Light Zachary | “The War”
Amina Gautier | “Hungry, Like the Wolf”
Angie Sijun Lou | “This is Fine”
Chaya Bhuvaneswar | “In The Kitchen”
Christine Kandic Torres | “Junction Boulevard”
H. K. Williams | “Nerves”
Ingrid Jendrzejewski | “Red Shift”
Jean Ho | “Thief”
Jessica Johns | “Good Bones”
Noah Weisz | “How to Juggle”
Oscar Mancinas | “Arizona Boy”
Ploy Pirapokin | “Gems”
Rani Neutill | “do you love me?”
Valorie Ruiz | “Laced up tongues”
Phoebe Glick | “Seeds of Discontent”

Amina Gautier | “Hungry, Like the Wolf”
Angie Sijun Lou | “This is Fine”
Christine Kandic Torres | “Junction Boulevard”
H. K. Williams | “Nerves”
Jean Ho | “Thief”
Jessica Johns | “Good Bones”
Oscar Mancinas | “Arizona Boy”
Ploy Pirapokin | “Gems”
Valorie Ruiz | “Laced up tongues”

The winner of the 2017 Cosmonauts Avenue Fiction Prize is Angie Sijun Lou for her story titled “This is Fine”.

"Angie's 'This is Fine' is one of the most stunningly haunted and haunting stories I've ever read. It refused to leave me long after I read it. This is essentially a grandmother story as well as a relationship story, but a story of not just cultures within two cultures but multiple subcultures within those cultures. And Angie does something so so very fresh with this classical story. Much of that has to do with her fearlessness in digging deep into the roughest parts of human nature. Her syntax and diction also mesmerized and nagged and clawed and slimed me, in all the best and most beautiful ways! I love the liberties taken with form here too and how she owns the aesthetic decisions all along the way: I love how it's unapologetically fragmented, episodic, and lyric; I love how it uses poetic erasure; I love how lists and gmail and all coexist in far more effective ways than what I've seen by writers who've tried to do this kind of experimental work.  Angie's gifts are many and I can't wait to read more by her" — Porochista Khakpour
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Angie Sijun Lou is from Seattle. Her work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Ninth Letter, the Rumpus, Hobart, Nat. Brut, Apogee, Nightboat, and others. She is a PhD student in Literature and Creative Writing at UC Santa Cruz.

2017 Nonfiction Prize judged by Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay’s writing appears in Best American Mystery Stories 2014Best American Short Stories 2012Best Sex Writing 2012A Public SpaceMcSweeney’sTin HouseOxford AmericanAmerican Short FictionVirginia Quarterly Review, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. She is the author of the books AyitiAn Untamed State, the New York Timesbestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally bestselling Difficult Women and the New York Times bestselling Hunger. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She has several books forthcoming and is also at work on television and film projects.

Whit Arnold | “Tadpole”
Jennifer Berney | “This is Not a Picture of Me Naked”
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan | “The Cactus Mother”
Chloé Cela | “This Skank Woman”
Caroline Crew | “Vacation”
Sarah Cook | “Silence, or misunderstanding”
Naima Coster | “Reorientation”
oscar d’artois | “‘Why I Am Not A Pornstar”
Alex DiFrancesco | “Home in Three Meals”
Shamala Gallagher | “You Cannot Grow Bored”
Lauren Kirshner | “Strawberry Fields Forever”
Geeta Kothari | “Dreams of Home”
Martina Louis | “How I Became an Amerikèn”
Sarah Maria Medina | “Dove”
Maia Morgan | “A Dozen Tiny Weapons”
Omar Sakr | “Postcards from an Arab Body”
Sarah Sgro | “Night Soil”

Whit Arnold | “Tadpole”
Naima Coster | “Reorientation”
Maia Morgan | “A Dozen Tiny Weapons”
Shamala Gallagher | “You Cannot Grow Bored”
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan | “The Cactus Mother”
Omar Sakr | “Postcards from an Arab Body”

The winner of the 2017 Cosmonauts Avenue Non Fiction Prize is Naima Coster for her essay titled “Reorientation”.

“Reorientation is a formidable essay about how delicately painful it can be to leave what you know of yourself behind as you reach for something different, and how sometimes, there are repercussions to this leaving that you are too young to fully realize. This is a lovely, lovely essay I won’t soon forget" — Roxane Gay

Naima Coster is a Brooklyn-born writer of fiction and nonfiction. Her first novel, Halsey Street, will be published in January 2018 and is available for preorder. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the RumpusArts & LettersKweli, and Guernica, among other places. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and their dog. She tweets as @zafatista.

2017 Poetry Prize judged by Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles is a poet, novelist, performer and art journalist. Their twenty books include Afterglow (a dog memoir), a 2017 re-issue of Cool for You and I Must Be Living Twice/new and selected poems, and Chelsea Girls. Eileen is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers grant, four Lambda Book Awards, and the Shelley Prize from the PSA. In 2016, Myles received a Creative Capital grant and the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. Currently they teach at NYU and Naropa University and live in Marfa TX and New York.

Andrea Abi-Karam | “COMPLEX DESIRE”
Miriam Borgstrom | “Triptych with Missing Limb”
Liz Bowen | “On Being Milk”
Laura Buccieri | “what does gender got to do with a table”
Sally Burnette | “dyke/bitch notebook”
MK Chavez | “The New White House, Finding Myself Among the Ruins”
Elisa Gonzalez | “Sex in Two Acts”
Stephon Lawrence | “//ghouls in a subway car”
Jamie Mortara | “we are burying the hatchet”
Omotara James | “Three Women / Two Transfers and a Token / One Reincarnation”
RE Katz | “Demimonde”
Béné Kusendila | “Da Capo Al Fine”
Robin Richardson | “THE PENDULUM OF FEMALE SURVIVAL”
Skylar Salvatore | “while you sleep, Idaho”
Angie Sijun Lou | “You keep me up at night”
Talin Tahajian | “No steeple”
Talin Tahajian | “I keep a strange list”

MK Chavez | “The New White House, Finding Myself Among the Ruins”
Omotara James | “Three Women / Two Transfers and a Token / One Reincarnation”
RE Katz | “Demimonde”
Stephon Lawrence | “//ghouls in a subway car”
Robin Richardson | “THE PENDULUM OF FEMALE SURVIVAL”
Skylar Salvatore | “while you sleep, Idaho”
Talin Tahajian | “No steeple”

We are excited to announce the winner of the 2017 Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Prize! Poet MK Chavez has won for her poem “The New White House, Finding Myself Among the Ruins”. Chavez will receive $500 and publication in Cosmonauts Avenue.

“I find this poem wryly political. I don’t entirely know which words are nouns and which words are verbs, so its affect is kind of static yet I’m intrigued by its arch and frozen nature and the end is so ghostly and pithy and I think it’s cool.” — Eileen Myles

Our second and third place winners are Talin Tahajian for her poem “No steeple,” and Skylar Salvatore for her poem, “while you sleep, Idaho”.

2016 Fiction Prize judged by Mona Awad

Mona Awad was born in Montreal and has lived in the US since 2009. Her debut novel, 13 WAYS OF LOOKING AT A FAT GIRL, published on February 23, 2016 (Penguin Books) won the Amazon Best First Novel award and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize. It was also longlisted for the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour. Her new novel, BUNNY (Viking) will be released in 2019.

Leah Bailly | “Paradise, NV”
Bridget Brewer | “Moth”
Naima Coster | “The Spot”
Caroline Crew | “Guldize”
Kristyn Dunnion | “Flat Ass Saturday Night”
Natalie Eilbert | “Malignant”
Sonia Feigelson | “Easy, Exotic”
Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes  |“Two Gallon Heart”
Takemasa Kurita | “Royal Jelly”
Angie Lou | “Jukai”
Benjamin Marshall | “Golden”
Jess Pane | “Oh, How I Want To Go Home”
Matt Phillp | “The Impresario
”Lisa Piazza | “The Beat Between”
Bushra Rehman | “Cherry Tree”
Erin Kate Ryan | Fourth Grade Boyfriend in a Coffee Can
Kristin Vukovic | Barren
Saba Waheed | The Crows

Stephanie Wong Ken | Face

Jenny Xie | Once More, With Feeling

Leah Bailly | Paradise, NV
Angie Lou | Jukai
Naima Coster | The Spot
Lisa Piazza | The Beat Between
Caroline Crew | Guldize
Takemasa Kurita | Royal Jelly
Bushra Rehman | Cherry Tree
Saba Waheed | The Crows
Stephanie Wong Ken | Face
Jenny Xie | Once More, With Feeling

The winner of the inaugural Cosmonauts Avenue Fiction Prize is Steph Wong Ken for her story “Face.” Congratulations to Steph Wong Ken and to all our shortlisted and longlisted writers! Look for the winning story in the next issue of Cosmonauts Avenue!

“A vital and dangerous cautionary tale about beauty, convention and its price. I love how the narrator’s story’s nail-sharp voice navigates such dark and disturbing terrain with humor and grace.It grabbed me from its provocative beginning to its deeply haunting ending" — Mona Awad

Steph Wong Ken is completing her MFA at Portland State University. Her chapbook Nebraska & Miracle came out in 2011 via Maison Kasini Press.  

2016 Poetry Prize judged by Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays including Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; numerous video collaborations, and is the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. For Citizen, Rankine won the Forward Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry (Citizen was also nominated in the criticism category, making it the first book in the award’s history to be a double nominee), the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the PEN Open Book Award, and the NAACP Image Award. A finalist for the National Book Award, Citizen also holds the distinction of being the only poetry book to be a New York Times bestseller in the nonfiction category. Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, United States Artists, and the National Endowment of the Arts. She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry.

Aziza Barnes, Hannah Beresford, Adebe Derango-Adem, Lisa Hiton, Nicholas Gulig, Victoria Kornick, Kimberly Kotel, Esther Lee, Virginia McLure, Rae Paris, Tommy Pico, Emily Pittinos, Joy Priest, Rebecca Salazar, Chelsey Shannon, Raena Shirali, Halie Theoharides, Maurisa Thompson, Chimwemwe Undi, and Renia White

Hannah Beresford, Lisa Hiton, Victoria Kornick, Esther Lee, Virginia McLure, Rebecca Salazar, Chelsey Shannon, Raena Shirali, Halie Theoharides, and Renia White

The inaugural Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Prize is Raena Shirali for her poem “dayaan summoning magic”!

"dayaan summoning magic’ is full of patience with its own unfolding. The poem sees the spectral as contingencies and offers up the conduction if as a way of opening out the metaphor of burning. A very beautiful and moving elegy" — Claudia Rankine

Indian American poet and educator Raena Shirali is the author of GILT (YesYes Books, 2017). Her work has appeared in Boston Review, Ninth Letter, Tupelo Quarterly, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, and many more. Her honors include a 2016 Pushcart Prize and the 2014 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, among others. She will be Bucknell University’s Philip Roth Resident this spring at the Stadler Center for Poetry. You can find more of her work atwww.raenashirali.com

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