Free Verse Editions

Jon Thompson
Series Editor

North Carolina State University
Parlor Press and Free Verse: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry & Poetics

Free Verse Editions represents a joint venture between Free Verse: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry & Poetics and Parlor Press. The series will publish three to five books of poetry per year.

The New Measure Poetry Prize

Parlor Press's poetry series, Free Verse Editions, is pleased to announce the ninth annual New Measure Poetry Prize, which will carry a cash award of $1,000 and publication of an original, unpublished manuscript of poems. Up to four other manuscripts may be accepted for publication by Free Verse Editions editors. Submit a manuscript of at least 54 pages with a $28 entry fee between March 1 and June 30, 2019.The judge for this year's competition is Peter Gizzi.

Click on this Submit button to visit the New Measure Poetry Prize submission interface at Submittable on or after March 1 and no later than June 30:

The New Measure Poetry Prize Winners

2018: Empire by Tracy Zeman [selected by Jon Thompson]
2017: Not into the Blossoms and Not into the Air by Elizabeth Jacobson [selected by Marianne Boruch]
2016: The Miraculous Courageous by Josh Booton [selected by Jon Thompson]
2015: This History That Just Happened by Hannah Craig [selected by Yusef Komunyakaa]
2014: Spool by Matthew Cooperman [selected by Jon Thompson]
2013: No Shape Bends the River So Long by Monica Berlin and Beth Marzoni [Selected by Carolyn Forché]
2012: Dismantling the Angel by Eric Pankey [selected by Jon Thompson]
2011: The Canticle of the Night Path by Jennifer Atkinson [selected by Susan Stewart]
2010: Country Album by James Capozzi [selected by Jon Thompson]
2009:  13 Ways of Happily by Emily Carr [selected by Cole Swensen]

Press Release 2019
Press Release 2018
Press Release 2017
Press Release 2016
Press Release 2015
Press Release 2014
Press Release 2013
Press Release 2012
Press Release 2011

Other manuscripts not selected for the New Measure Poetry Prize may still be eligible for publication by Free Verse Editions. Friends and former students of the judge are not eligible for the prize but may submit for publication to Free Verse Editions (please indicate whether the submission is for the prize or for publication only). Each manuscript should be word processed, paginated, and contain a list of acknowledgments for published or forthcoming poems. The title page should include the name of the author, a postal address, telephone number, and email address. No feedback on submitted manuscripts can be offered. The recipient of the next New Measure Poetry Prize will be announced in December 2017. The judge for this year's competition is Marianne Boruch.

Free Verse Editions logo

Free Verse Editions

We are especially interested in collections that use language to dramatize a singular vision of experience, a mastery of craft, a deep knowledge of poetic tradition, and a willingness to take risks. As the series title suggests, the series is oriented toward free verse, but we will happily consider poetry written in traditional forms. Collections should have individual poems published in well-known journals. We will read collections that do not have a track record of publications, but it is unlikely that they will be accepted for publication.

Given the series' commitment to publishing a diverse array of styles, Parlor Press will not make a practice of regularly publishing second books by Free Verse Editions authors.

An announcement about the manuscripts accepted for publication will be made in December each year. The announcement will appear on the Free Verse website as well as here.

Submission period: March 1- June 30, annually.

Note: Please do not call, write, or email the editor, or Parlor Press, to inquire about your manuscript during the reading period.

Parlor Press is an independent publisher of scholarly and trade titles in print and multimedia formats, including Acrobat eBook, ePub, and iBook. For submission information, see, write to Parlor Press, 3015 Brackenberry Drive, Anderson SC 29621, or e-mail David Blakesley <>. 765.409.2649

Announcing the 2016-2017 Free Verse Editions

Series Editor: Jon Thompson
Series Page:

Ana Cristina César, At Your Feet, edited by Brenda Hillman and Katrina Dodson. Translated by Brenda Hillman, Helen Hillman, Sebastião Edson Macedo, and Katrina Dodson
Ana Cristina César (1952-1983) has posthumously become one of Brazil’s best known avant-garde poets. After her suicide in 1983, her innovative, mythic, and dreamlike poetry has greatly influenced subsequent generations of writers. At Your Feet was originally published as a poetic sequence and later became part of a longer hybrid work— sometimes prose, sometimes verse—documenting the life and mind of a forcefully active literary woman. César, who also worked internationally as a journalist and translator, often found inspiration in the writings of other poets, among them Emily Dickinson, Armando Freitas Filho, and Gertrude Stein. Her innovative writing has been featured in Green Integer's Nothing the Sun Could Not Explain—20 Contemporary Brazilian Poets (2000). Poet Brenda Hillman and her mother Helen Hillman (a native speaker of Portuguese) worked with Brazilian poet Sebastião Edson Macedo and translator/editor Katrina Dodson to render as faithfully as possible the intricately layered poems of this legendary writer.

Hannah Craig, This History That Just Happened [New Measure Poetry Prize Winner, selected by Yusef Komunyakaa].
"Hannah Craig's This History That Just Happened places the reader at the nexus where rural and city life converge, bridging a world personal and political, natural and artful, in a voice always uniquely hers. Every word here is earned. And little, if anything, escapes this poet's heart, mind, or eye. History works through a keen imagination. These poems make us feel and listen differently, and images coalesce line by line and dare us to reside where fierce empathy and beauty abide."—Yusef Komunyakaa

Derek Gromadzki, Pilgrimage Suites
Reading itself is travel in Derek Gromadzki's first book, Pilgrimage Suites, an outing across an insular medieval landscape as rich in its registers of language as in its flora or fauna. This book is neither history nor story, though it retains characteristics of each. Like history, it perpetuates retrograde speculation while maintaining the narrated sequencing of incident that is the common stock and trade of story. In the heyday of medieval pilgrimages, English underwent radical changes. The Latinate speech of Church officialdom ran roughly up against a vernacular with deep Germanic and Brythonic roots. These suites track an imagined journey over the landscape that staged the violence of this conflict, whereon strikingly beautiful monuments stood in the aftermath. To the cultural clashes and assimilations materially manifest in the Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals travelers still venerate today, Gromadzki offers an overlooked parallel through creative strife with sound. He uses the momentum generated in running the lexical and rhythmic possibilities of English's varied sources together to stretch and sustain the lyric over a pastoral background to push each of these two modes past its respective limits.

Geraldine Monk, They Who Saw the Deep
At the heart of They Who Saw The Deep are poems concerning rivers and seas. From the Libyan Sea south of Crete to the savage tidal bores of Morecambe Bay in the North of England, our relationship with these vast tracts of water is benign and lethal in equal measures. The title sequence is set against the hypnotic backdrop of the British shipping forecast as the world grows increasingly troubled with wars and wild weather events. It weaves deluge myths with tales of migrations and invasions down the ages. "Geraldine Monk's poetry is a treasure, and They Who Saw the Deep is extravagant proof. A vocabulary ripe to the point of ferment. Lines lithe and various. Gritty dazzle. Vertiginous control. The title sequence is a water-torn triumph, a mercurial inventory of birds, wars, seas, weathers, vegetables and wrecks. With kinetic brilliance and valorous abandon, Monk forages the deeps."—Catherine Wagner

Nicolas Pesquès's, Overyellow, translated by Cole Swensen
This is a book about a color—the vivid, explosive yellow of the English broom that blooms outrageously, uproariously, all over the mountain that dominates the view from Nicolas Pesquès' window. In this loping long poem, Pesquès views this color as installation art—as if the word YELLOW were written in enormous letters covering the hillside. It's an installation that brings issues of language to the fore, offering an occasion for the writer to juggle the immediate presence of color with the more mitigated presence created by language.

Donald Platt, Man Praying
In his sixth book, Donald Platt starts a poem by exclaiming, "The days are one thousand / puzzle pieces."  He gathers up the days into this book of terrors and ecstasies decanted in seamlessly reversing tercets of long and short lines, syllabic couplets, and lyric prose.  The puzzle pieces include a dying father-in-law, AIDS, maimed World War I veterans, Caravaggio's painting of the beheading of St. John the Baptist (his largest canvas), and the story of a gay boxer who KOs and kills the opponent who has called him a faggot at the weigh-in.  It is a book that encompasses contradictions.  The poet writes about his bisexuality, his close and intimate marriage, Rudolf Nureyev, a daughter with manic depression, a painting by James Ensor entitled Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889,and la Playa los Muertos, the Beach of the Dead in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  The poet puts these fragments of a life together into a thousand-piece jigsaw, a self-portrait of the artist in middle age, and calls it unabashedly Man Praying.

Ethel Rackin, Go On
The miniature poems that comprise Go On, Ethel Rackin's second collection, constitute distilled moments in time that paradoxically extend our field of concentration and vision. Focusing on various kinds of survival—personal, political, environmental—Go On asks what it means to endure in unsure times. By turns collaged, diaristic, and panoramic, the poems that make up this collection combine to form a kind of crazy-quilt of lyric association and connection.

Christopher Sindt, System and Population
Christopher Sindt's System and Population returns to the primary theme of Sindt's earlier collection, The Bodies: the impact of human desire on the natural world.  System and Population focuses on the proposed damming of the American River canyon in northern California—working with source texts such as geologic studies, government documents, and the diaries of gold miners—to study the intersections of personal experience, scientific study, and the politics of rivers and dams.  It is a personal eco-poetics that embraces the tradition of the lyric, experimenting with collage and the explicit inclusion of historic and scientific data.  System and Population meditates on human experiences, such as parenthood and loss, and also studies the dissociative effects of environmental damage and disaster. 

Announcing the 2017 Free Verse Editions

Series Editor: Jon Thompson
Series Page:

Bruce Bond, Dear Reader
In his single-poem sequence, Dear Reader, Bruce Bond explores the metaphysics of reading as central to the way we negotiate a world—the evasions of our gods and monsters; our Los Angeles in flames; the daily chatter of our small, sweet, and philosophical beasts.  In light of an imagined listener and the world taken as a whole, Bond sees the summons of the self in the other and the way the other in the self informs our sacrifices and reckoning, our speechless hesitations, our jokes and our rituals of loss.  Every moment of personal and political life, interpretation holds the page of the human face, not far but far enough, and all the while, beneath our gaze, the subtext that is no text at all, where the old argument between universals and particulars breaks down, exhausted, and the real in the imagined is, by necessity, renewed.

Bruce Bond is the author of sixteen books including, most recently, For the Lost Cathedral (LSU Press, 2015), The Other Sky (Etruscan Press, 2015), Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (University of Michigan Press, 2015), Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, University of Tampa Press, 2016), and Gold Bee (Crab Orchard Open Competition Award, Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), Three of his books are forthcoming:  Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (E. Phillabaum Award, LSU Press), Sacrum (Four Way Books), and Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, Parlor Press).  Presently he is Regents Professor at University of North Texas.

Josh Booton, The Miraculous Courageous [New Measure Poetry Prize Winner, selected by Jon Thompson]
The Miraculous Courageous is a fractured epic, a sequence which seeks not to explain but to evoke the mind of one boy and his experience with autism.  In the tradition Carson's Autobiography of Red, Booton constructs a landscape both familiar and uncanny, a territory where our inner workings burn with the luminosity of jelly fish and "darkness turns the lighthouse on." These poems are agile, slippery, glancing at the camera then quickly away, skewing the boundaries between lyric and monologue, vignette and scene.  These poems are a bridge.  And through their deft conflation of inner and outer worlds, the self and the other, The Miraculous Courageous marks a rich and startling immersion in the mind of autism. 

Josh Booton's debut collection, The Union of Geometry & Ash, was awarded the Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize and published by Bear Star Press.  His poems have appeared in The Missouri Review, Poetry Northwest, 32 Poems, Hayden's Ferry Review, Iron Horse and elsewhere.  He works as a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist specializing in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Elizabeth Robinson, Rumor
What is the dividing line between ugly and beautiful, aggressive and resigned?  How does one demarcate the fluid boundaries of gender?  Between the idiosyncratically local and the universal?  In Rumor, Elizabeth Robinson spins out the narrative line of a series of unsolved Victorian murders.  Here, what cannot be known, what can only be rumored, emerges as the greatest ethical challenge.  These poems undertake the transgression of the irresolvable.

Elizabeth Robinson is the author of several collections of poetry, most recently Counterpart (Ahsahta) and Blue Heron (Center for Literary Publishing). Her mixed genre meditation On Ghosts (Solid Objects) was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award.  Robinson has been a winner of the National Poetry Series, the Fence Modern Poets Prize, and grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the Fund for Poetry.  In the fall of 2016, she was a fellow at the Dora Maar House in Menerbes, France.  Robinson works for Boulder Municipal Court as an advocate for homeless defendants.

Simon Smith, Day In, Day Out
Day In, Day Out is a book of journal poems mapping the time period between 11th April 2012 and 27th June 2014 – on the track of American poet/translator Paul Blackburn – between San Diego and Brooklyn, with stop offs in New York City, London, Vancouver, L.A. and Glasgow.  Each poem is in the moment of its detail and the materiality of its experience, which only these foreign eyes passing through and about and around those distant places can realise.  Its pacing is breakneck and nonchalant, hysterical and insouciant, blurred, with a pin-sharp focus. This is poetry fully alive to its particular time and place, steeped in the precision of its perceptions and the act of perceiving.  This is a book that telescopes the long-distance of the past into the talismanic immediate, articulating and attending to particularity over generality in the process. It is a book that explores and interrogates the world by plane rather than road, tips straight ahead, attuned to attention itself. 

Simon Smith's latest collection is More Flowers Than You Could Possibly Carry: Selected Poems 1989-2012 (Shearsman Books, 2016).  Salon Noir, a new book of poems, from Equipage, has just appeared. The Fortnightly Review and the Los Angeles Review have carried essays on his work.He is Reader in Creative Writing at the University of Kent in England.

Felicia Zamora, & in Open, Marvel
& in Open, Marvel grapples with wonder in everyday existence. A sense of quietness through seasonal change threads the interlaced contemplations in the collection, which approach the twice-removed space we occupy from the physical world. The act of mind and body is experienced as a journey for both writer and reader. How we are all elements in fall. How we are all purpose. How what makes us connects us. How there are lovely works beyond us, which in turn, include us. How we plead to ourselves, See…just see.

Felicia Zamora is author of Of Form & Gather, winner of the 2016 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize (University of Notre Dame 2017). She won the 2015Tomaž Šalamun Prize (Verse), authored two chapbooks, is an associate poetry editor for the Colorado Review, and holds an MFA from Colorado State University. Her poems are found in Columbia Poetry Review, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, Meridian, North American Review, Pleiades, Poetry Daily, Poetry Northwest, The Adirondack Review, The Cincinnati Review, TriQuarterly Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Verse Daily, Witness Magazine, West Branch, and more.

Announcing the 2018 Free Verse Editions

Series Editor: Jon Thompson
Series Page:

Elizabeth Jacobson Not into the Blossoms and Not into the Air  [New Measure Poetry Prize, selected by Marianne Boruch]

Elizabeth Jacobson's Not into the Blossoms and Not into the Air is a collection of poems wealthy with the speaker's intimacy with nature, and with the philosophical and spiritual insights that emerge from a deep practice of close observation. In a manner that is wonderfully relaxed and conversational, Jacobson's poems enter into the most venerable and perennial of our human questions, like, 'Why is human consciousness confused and forgetful?' 'What is the distance between nature and ourselves?' 'Why is solitude so rich?'  Jacobson's subject matter, ingenuity, and style invite comparison to the work of some of our most luminous poetic contemporaries, like Linda Gregg and Jane Hirschfield. Passionate, lucid and meticulous, this collection of poems represents the emergence of a remarkable poet.

Joshua McKinney, Small Sillion

Joshua McKinney's fourth collection, Small Sillion, enacts a lyric struggle to perceive the numinous in a world marked by violence. The term sillion, as used by Hopkins in his famous poem, "The Windhover," refers to a furrow turned over by a plough. For McKinney it is both prelude to fertility, and wound, a scarring of the land. Maintaining a tension between the visionary and the mundane, between joy and despair, these poems posit a border between language and the living world; they constitute a personal eco-poetics of skepticism, one that respects language's utility and radiance, while acknowledging that the world's complexity lies beyond the grasp of language

F. Daniel Rzicznek's Settlers

Transversing the territory between the pastoral and the elegiac, F. Daniel Rzicznek's Settlers inhabits the hidden, wild places of the American Midwestern landscape. The idea of "settling"—that a landscape can be tamed, that a human consciousness can fall back into immobility—is one these poems grapple with and resist, all the while charting the cathartic effects of the natural world on a collective imagination dually wounded by the madness of the post-industrial era and the multiplication of tragedy via media saturation. Within the  "settled" landscape, it becomes clear that nothing, in fact, can be settled. Love, compassion, forgiveness, and transcendence all turn out to be moving targets and Settlers offers glimpse after glimpse of an unstable world in whirling, mesmerizing motion. Where the exterior landscape of weather, light and water skirts the interior wilderness of dream, vision, and prayer, these poems go out walking with their feet in the marsh and their hats in the infinite clouds, hoping to find what exactly it means to be human in a world imperiled by humans, and the all the fascinating and frustrating complexities contained therein.