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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, Mark Strand, Lucille Clifton, Mary Jo Bang and Eduardo C. Corral, to name but a few.

The winners of this year's contest are James Knippen, Erika Luckert, Diana Khoi Nguyen and Courtney Faye Taylor. Each one receives a reading at 92Y, publication in Boston Review and $500.

The runners-up are: Kerry Carnahan, Julie Danho and Mia Kang.

This year’s preliminary judges were Timothy Donnelly and francine j. harris, Henri Cole, Douglas Kearney and Monica Youn served as final judges.

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


James Henry Knippen

James Henry Knippen’s poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review Online, Gulf Coast, 32 Poems, Colorado Review, The Missouri Review Online, Denver Quarterly, Blackbird and West Branch, among other journals.

Erika Luckert

Erika Luckert is a writer from Edmonton, Canada. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Columbia and was a nominee for the Canadian National Magazine Award in Poetry.

Diana Khoi Nguyen

Diana Khoi Nguyen is currently a PhD candidate in creative writing at the University of Denver.

Courtney Faye Taylor

Courtney Faye Taylor is an MFA candidate at the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program.

Preliminary Judges

Timothy Donnelly

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

francine j. harris

francine j. harris is the author of play dead and allegiance, a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Open Book Award.

Final Judges

Henri Cole

Henri Cole is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Middle Earth, winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Blackbird and Wolf, winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; and most recently Nothing to Declare.

Douglas Kearney

Douglas Kearney is the author of Someone Took They Tongues: 3 Operas, Mess and Mess and, Patter and The Black Automaton, a National Poetry Series selection.

Monica Youn

Monica Youn is the author of Barter; Ignatz, a finalist for the National Book Award; and Blackacre.