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Unterberg Poetry Center

The Joan Leiman Jacobson Poetry Prizes

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

The winners of this year’s contest are Heidi Johannesen Poon, Jake Skeets, Monica Sok and Paul Tran. Each one receives a reading at 92Y, publication in Boston Review, a two-night stay at the Ace Hotel and $500.
The runners-up are Alfredo Aguilar, Jameson Fitzpatrick and Joe Gutierrez.
This year’s preliminary judges were Timothy Donnelly and A. H. Jerriod Avant. Craig Santos Perez, Srikanth Reddy and Dara Wier served as final judges.

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


Monica Sok

Monica Sok’s chapbook is Year Zero, for which she won the Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship.

Jake Skeets

Jake Skeets is Black Streaked Wood, born for Water’s Edge. He is Diné from the Navajo Nation.

Heidi Johannesen Poon

Heidi Johannesen Poon’s chapbook is The Good News of the Ground, for which she won the Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship.

Paul Tran

Paul Tran is Poetry Editor at The Offing and Chancellor's Graduate Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis.

Preliminary Judges

Timothy Donnelly

Timothy Donnelly is the poetry editor at Boston Review and author of Twenty-Seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebenszeit and The Cloud Corporation, for which he won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.

A. H. Jerriod Avant

A. H. Jerriod Avant served as Writer in the Public Schools Fellow at New York University.

Final Judges

Craig Santos Perez

Craig Santos Perez is the author of from unincorporated territory [guma’], from unincorporated territory [hacha] and from unincorporated territory [saina], the latter of which was a finalist for the LA Times 2010 Book Prize for Poetry and the winner of the 2011 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Poetry.

Srikanth Reddy

Srikanth Reddy is the author of Facts for Visitors and Voyager, named one of the best books of poetry by The New Yorker, NPR and The Believer.

Dara Wier

Dara Wier is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including In the Still of the Night, You Good Thing and Selected Poems.


Kaveh Bassiri
S. Erin Batiste
Bryan Beck
Joe Betz
Dylan Carpenter
Katie Condon
Rio Cortez
Jessica Crisler
Ryan Dzelzkalns
Camonghne Felix
Mike Ferguson
Alana Folsom
Benjamin Garcia
Matty Layne Glasgow
Tyler Goldman
Nicholas Goodly
Parker Hobson
Elizabeth Hoover
David Hutcheson
Christopher Janigian
Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley
Emily Koehn
Kathy McGoldrick
Quinton Moon
Christopher Nelson
Annette Opalczynski
Nathan Xavier Osorio
Melissa Peters
Xandria Phillips
Jessica Regione
Andres Rojas
Leslie Sainz
Jacob Severn
Melanie H.D. Sirof
Todd Smith
Avia Tadmor
Alice Templeton
Christian Teresi
Janell Tryon
H.R. Webster
John Westbrook
Ross White
Chelsea Whitton