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2017 Gatewood Prize Announcement

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 Economics marks the movement of a body in consciousness, in love, in illness, and in grief. It explores how, in measured language, one might attempt to measure time and all its strange work. Arranged in glinting layers of associative and disjunctive lines, these poems are a quiet thrill. Reading them, I feel a simultaneous calmness and excitement. I trust that this poet's bright mind knows just where to lead me, am happily surprised at each new place it goes.

Judge Heather Christle’s remarks on Grand Marronage

Grand Marronage is a remarkable book, resolved to regard the difficulties and beauties of the past and present, to acknowledge the forces that would seek to control how both are seen, and to find the strength of its own steady gaze. These poems have a wild and courageous openness, full of intelligence and heart. The poet records "the dual wishes for her children to / write their own and to remember / the names of every ancestor before.” Grand Marronage makes a space where those wishes can breathe and grow. 



Kristen Case's chapbook, Temple, was published by MIEL in 2014, and her full-length collection, Little Arias (New Issues, 2015) won the Maine Literary Award for Poetry. She is co-editor of the essay collection 21 | 19: Contemporary Poets and the North American Nineteenth Century, forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. She teaches English at the University of Maine at Farmington.




 Dr. Irène P. Mathieu is a pediatrician, writer, and public health researcher. She is the author of orogeny (Trembling Pillow Press, 2017), which won the Bob Kaufman Book Prize, and the galaxy of origins (dancing girl press, 2014). Her honors include Yemassee Journal’s Poetry Prize, Honorable Mention and Editor’s Choice awards in the Sandy Crimmins National Poetry contest, and runner-up for the Northwestern/Cave Canem book prize. Her poems have appeared in Narrative Magazine, Boston Review, Southern Humanities Review, Los Angeles Review, Callaloo, New Delta Review, Foundry, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. Irène serves as a poetry book reviewer for Muzzle Magazine and an editor for the Journal of General Internal Medicine’s humanities section. She holds a BA in International Relations from the College of William & Mary and a MD from Vanderbilt University, and has received fellowships from the Fulbright Program and Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. She is represented by Jack Jones Literary Arts.

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