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July 23, 2019

Switchback Books is thrilled to announce the results of the 2019 Gatewood Prize. The winner is Adelante by Jessica Guzman, selected by judge Patricia Smith.

Thank you to everyone who submitted manuscripts to this year’s contest. We are honored to read your work. Congratulations also to our finalists and semi-finalists, selected by the editors:


Marina Blitshteyn, "A Conversion”
Kelly Caldwell, “Letters to Forget”
Naomi Extra, “Ratchet Supreme”
Jordan Franklin, “When the Signals Come Home"
Gloria Muñoz, “Dawn’s Early”
Ines Pujos, “Lilly the Valley”
Nichole Riggs, “Lumes”
Mary Wilson, “Let’s Have Both”
Emma Winsor Wood, “Preferred Internal Landscape”


Julie Choffel, “At/Home”
C.R. Grimmer, “The Lyme Letters”
Alexis Jackson, “My Sister’s Country”
Safia Jama, “My Brother’s Menagerie"

Judge Patricia Smith's remarks on Adelante:

Adelante is unerringly fresh and restless, a treasure of deftly-honed narratives that manage to be both unleashed and enviably controll...

July 24, 2018

Switchback Books is thrilled to announce the upcoming publication of two books of poetry.

Principles of Economics by Kristen Case is the winner of the 2017 Gatewood Prize, selected by judge Heather Christle. The contest runner-up, Grand Marronage by Irène Mathieu, will be published as an Editor’s Choice selection.

Thank you to everyone who submitted manuscripts to this year’s contest. We are honored to read your work. Congratulations also to our finalists and semi-finalists, selected by the editors: 

Nikia Chaney, akhi
Ines Pujos, Lilly of the Valley
Gale Thompson, Expeditions to the Polar Seas
Laura Wetherington, Parallel Resting Places

Isabel Sobral Campos, Surrogate Language
Liz Chereskin, weather/report
Stella Corso, TEDIUM
Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, The Many Names for Mother
Caridad Moro, Tortillera
Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad, So I Waited
Elizabeth Clark Wessel, Sticks

Judge Heather Christle’s remarks on Principles of Economics

Principles of Econom...

April 14, 2015

Switchback Books is thrilled to announce our 2014 Gatewood Prize winner, chosen by judge Dorothea Lasky:

But I Have Realized It by Crystal Curry

Crystal Curry is the author of But I Have Realized It: A Motivational Poem in Little Arcs, winner of the 2014 Gatewood Prize, selected by Dorothea Lasky (Switchback Books, forthcoming 2016), Our Chrome Arms of Gymnasium, winner of the Slope Editions Book Prize, selected by Dara Wier (Slope Editions, 2010) and the chapbook Logotherapy Pant (Cosa Nostra Editions, 2008). Her poems, reviews and poetry articles have appeared widely in publications including The Volta, Coldfront, Octopus, Denver Quarterly, Action Yes and others. Curry holds an MFA from the University of Iowa, an Ed.M from the University of Illinois and is a contract instructional designer, as well as a contributing editor at Coldfront Magazine. She lives in Van Cortlandt Village, BX, NYC with her husband, poet/artist Nico Vassilakis, their children and a little Bost...

May 22, 2014

In case you missed it with all of our exciting news last week, the 2014 Gatewood Prize submission deadline has been extended! We are now accepting manuscripts until 11:59 PM on June 1st, 2014.

Contest judge: Dorothea Lasky

A refresher on contest details and submission guidelines

Switchback Books Catalog

AND, check out 2013 Gatewood Prize Winner, Morgan Parker's website, to see what she's been up to!

March 20, 2014

Switchback Books is thrilled to announce the publication of A Table That Goes On for Miles, the first book of poetry from Stefania Heim and winner of the 2012 Gatewood Prize, selected by competition judge Brenda Shaughnessy. z

Buy Online Today

Read an interview with Jane Carr in the new Brooklyn Quarterly

From A Table That Goes On for Miles


Because of the hills, we feel

lonely, because the river smells

closer than it is.

The country is only one language.

We say comfort and mean

that though there are more stars here

than we can imagine,

there is still one small, cream room.

It is small enough.

This is one kind of writing:

At the base of every hill

I imagine there is water.

But the water is farther off.

March 19, 2014

Dorothea Lasky will be judging the 2014 Gatewood Prize, Switchback Books' annual competiotion for a first or second full-length collection of poems by a woman writing in English. 

Dorothea Lasky is the author of three full-length collections of poetry: Thunderbird, Black Life, and AWE, all out from Wave Books. She has also written several chapbooks, including Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Ducking Presse, 2010). Her writing has appeared in POETRY, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, and Boston Review, among other places.

December 20, 2013

hanks to generous funding from the Open Meadows Foundation, Switchback launches our first ever contest for a full-length poetry manuscript by a queer-identified woman writer on January 1, 2014. Update 1/1/14: The 2014 Queer Voices Contest is now open! Find guidelines and submit via Submittable.

Over the past seven years, Switchback Books has published nine (soon to be ten!) books by women poets, many of whom are winners of our annual Gatewood Prize.

While we are proud of the gaps Switchback Books fills in the broader landscape of the publishing industry, we’ve noticed different gaps appearing. As a result, we feel compelled to more broadly reflect the diverse range of women’s experiences. 

Switchback Books developed out of a disappointment in the way publishers failed to address inequity in their own catalogs. We’ve developed our 2014 Queer Voices Contest to avoid that same misstep within the world of women’s poetry, and to solidify our feminist mission. In a landscape where a trans...

October 31, 2013

Switchback Books is thrilled announce the winner of our 2013 Gatewood Prize, chosen by our judge Eileen Myles:

Other People's Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night by Morgan Parker

Morgan Parker received her BA from Columbia University and her MFA in poetry from NYU. Her work has been featured in Painted Bride Quarterly, PANK, ILK Journal, Phantom Limb, and the anthology Why I Am Not A Painter, published by Argos Books. Additional poems from her first manuscript, Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night, are forthcoming from Coconut Poetry, Handsome Journal, Vinyl Poetry, and NOO Journal. She has appeared at KGB Bar’s Emerging Writers Reading Series, the Metro Rhythm Reading Series, EARSHOT, the Brooklyn Ladies Text-based Salon, and elsewhere. A Cave Canem fellow, she lives in Brooklyn with her dog Braeburn.

Learn more about Morgan at http://www.morgan-parker.com/

Congratulations, Morgan! Welcome to the Switchback Family!

Thanks to everyone who submitted manuscripts to ou...

June 1, 2013

Just a friendly reminder that you have until midnight tonight to submit to the Gatewood Prize, Switchback Books' annual competition for a first or second full-length collection of poems by a woman (including transgender women and all other female-identified individuals). The 2013 prize judge is the talented and much-lauded poet Eileen Myles. And remember, our editors read everything.

May 30, 2013

A few weeks ago, I went through a five minute registration process on NPR's website just so I could downvote the comment pictured above (never accuse me of not backing up my political and aesthetic beliefs with real life actions…). 

Good Lawyer's comments are not unusual or even particularly offensive. I hear some version of these sentiments every damn time a "friend" makes the mistake of mentioning in mixed company that I craft the occasional poem.

I guess I see calls for "making sense to an average person" as something of a feminist issue. What I mean is, "average person" is usually (maybe even always?) a(n invisible) code for male (white, heterosexual, middle class, able-bodied, etc.). Women aren't average people. So, poems written by women are, perhaps inevitably, unaverage. 

I tire of folks holding up "easy to understand" as a virtue, as the virtue, of printed words. Granted, instructions for operating a forklift or  at-home bikini wax should be easy to understand. But poetry i...

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