Alumnus Matthew Gellman ’18 Wins 22nd Annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize

Carlos Barragán
May 23, 2023

Alumnus Matthew Gellman ’18 has emerged victorious in the highly prestigious 22nd Annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize with Beforelight, a winning manuscript selected by poet and writer Tina Chang from 800 original submissions. With a foreword by Chang, Beforelight will be published by BOA Editions in April 2024 as part of the New Poets of America Series.

"I am in awe of the talent and vision of this year’s poetry submissions. I am honored to select Matt Gellman’s Beforelight as the winner of this year’s A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize!” said Chang. “Written with wisdom and grace, Beforelight explores the expanses of love—familial, ancestral, and communal—ultimately committing to the self's authenticity as the highest form of devotion.” 

Named after the founder of BOA Editions, the A Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize is one of the most recognized prizes in the world of poetry. Every year, the competition celebrates a poet’s first book with the publication of the winning manuscript and a $1,000 honorarium. Winning manuscripts are published within the A. Poulin, Jr. New Poets of America Series. Recent Poulin Prize winners have included Improvisation Without Accompaniment by Matt Morton, Documents by Jan-Henry Gray and Cenzontle by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo.

The 23rd Annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize is set to receive submissions from August 1 through to November 30, 2023. You can consult the Poulin Prize submission guidelines here

Matthew Gellman is a 2022-2023 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. His poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, Narrative, The Common, Ninth Letter, Indiana Review, Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight, the Missouri Review, North American Review, Waxwing, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Night Logic, was selected by Denise Duhamel as the winner of the 2021 Snowbound Chapbook Prize and is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. Matthew has also received awards and honors from Brooklyn Poets, the Adroit Journal’s Djanikian Scholars Program, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts and the New York State Summer Writers Institute. He holds an MFA from Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn.