For over 60 years 92Y’s Discovery Contest has launched the careers of major poets, like John Ashbery, Mark Strand, Lucille Clifton, Mary Jo Bang and Eduardo C. Corral, to name but a few.

The 2016 winners are Ryan Fox, Carlie Hoffman, Gala Mukomolova and Miller Oberman. Runners-up are Anders Carlson-Wee and Rachel Harkai. This year’s preliminary judges were Timothy Donnelly and Solmaz Sharif. Thylias Moss, Paul Muldoon and Ellen Bryant Voigt served as the final judges.

Thank you to the approximately 1,100 writers who submitted: it was an honor to be trusted with your work. The judges’ decision was a difficult one. We hope to see or hear from you again soon!

“This prize helped me to crush some of the stifling self-doubt that had long been an enemy to my poetry, like playing chess against myself. It made me think, If Cornelius Eady, a final judge, believes in my work enough to give me such a lovely, unforgettable gift of an introduction, then I better damn well start believing in myself too, because I don’t want to prove him wrong.”

– Ansel Elkins, 2011 winner and author of Blue Yodel, for which she received the Yale Younger Poets Prize.

Ryan Fox is the recipient of an MFA from the University of Virginia, where he was Poetry Editor of Meridian, and a JD from Fordham University School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal. A member of the New York state bar, he lives in New York City, and works as Editorial Director of the Authors Guild.


Carlie Hoffman is a creative writing teaching fellow at Columbia University, where she served as poetry editor of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Cider Press Review, Nashville Review, Gulf Stream Literary Magazine and elsewhere. She teaches literature and writing at Manhattan and Lehman Colleges, and is from New Jersey.


Gala Mukomolova is a Moscow-born, Brooklyn-raised poet and essayist. She received her MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program and her past residencies include Vermont Studio Center, Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists and The Pink Door. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications such as Vinyl, James Franco Review, Nailed Magazine and PANK.


Miller Oberman was a 2005 Ruth Lilly Fellow, and his translation of the “Old English Rune Poem” won Poetry’s John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize For Translation in 2013. Miller has work forthcoming in Poetry, Tin House and The Nation, and is currently finishing “The Ruin,” a collection of poems and Old English translations. He lives in Brooklyn and studies poetics at the University of Connecticut.


This contest is endowed by Joan L. and Dr. Julius H. Jacobson, II.