HISTORY AND INFORMATION
Anne Halley was for twenty-five years Poetry Editor of MR, had a long association with the English Department, and was author of three distinctive volumes of verse and many prize-winning stories, while enjoying a long career as a beloved teacher in the U.S. and abroad. The Anne Halley Poetry Prize is co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Review and the English Department of the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. A Prize of $500 is awarded annually for the best poem to appear in the preceding year of MR, as chosen by two editors and a member of the English Department. The prize poet is invited to give a spring reading in Amherst.
The 2017 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is Gary J. Whitehead, for his poem, "Music from a Farther Room," published in Volume 57, Issue 4.
Gary J. Whitehead is a poet, teacher, and crossword constructor. His third collection of poems, A Glossary of Chickens, was published by Princeton University Press in 2013. His previous books include Measuring Cubits while the Thunder Claps and The Velocity of Dust. He has also authored three chapbooks of poetry, two of which were winners of national competitions. His writing awards include, among others, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, the Pearl Hogrefe Fellowship at Iowa State University, and the PEN Northwest Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency Award. He has also been awarded the Princeton University Distinguished Secondary School Teaching Award. His poems have appeared widely, most notably in The New Yorker. He lives in the Hudson Valley of New York and teaches English and creative writing at Tenafly High School in New Jersey.
The 2016 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is Taije Silverman, for her poem, "Spiritual Evaluation," published in Volume 56, Issue 2.
Taije Silverman is the author of the collection Houses Are Fields, and her poems have been published Poetry, the Harvard Review, Ploughshares, Massachusetts Review, and AGNI.
She received the 2010-11 W.K. Rose Fellowship from Vassar College, and has had residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. In 2010, she was a Fulbright fellow at the University of Bologna. Her translations of Giovanni Pascoli have appeared in The Nation, New England Review, AGNI, Pleiades, Modern Poetry in Translation, and elsewhere. Houses Are Fields was translated into Italian in 2013, by Giorgia Pordenoni. SIlverman currently teaches in the English department of the University of Pennsylvania.
The 2015 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is Sarah Sousa, for her poem, "Her Moods Caused Owls," published in Volume 55, Issue 3.
Sarah Sousa’s first collection, Church of Needles, won the 2013 Red Mountain Prize and was published by Red Mountain Press in 2014. Her second collection, Split the Crow, was published January 2015 by Free Verse Editions, an imprint of Parlor Press. She is the editor and transcriber of The Diary of Esther Small, 1886 (Small Batch Books), which won the New England Book Festival award for Regional Literature. Sousa holds an MFA in poetry and literature from Bennington College. Her poetry has appeared in the Massachusetts Review, Fugue, Passages North, Barn Owl Review, and Salt Hill Journal, among others. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and is the recipient of a Dorothy Sergent Rosenberg Award. Her poem, “Learning My Name,” is featured at the Poetry in the Park installation project at Edmand’s Park in Newton, MA. She currently writes and teaches poetry in western Massachusetts.
The 2014 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is Geffrey Davis, for his poem, "What I Mean When I Say Farmhouse," published in Volume 54, Issue 3.
Geffrey Davis’s debut collection, Revising the Storm, was selected by Dorianne Laux for the 2013 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, and will be published by BOA Editions in April 2014. Part of his work as a literary citizen involves promoting the poetry of others. To this end, he co-created and co-edits the online journal Toe Good Poetry. Davis holds degrees from Oregon State University and Penn State University. His awards include the Dogwood Prize in Poetry, the Wabash Prize for Poetry, the Leonard Steinberg Memorial/Academy of American Poets Prize, nominations for the Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and Penn State's Institute for the Arts and Humanities. His work has appeared in Crazyhorse, Hayden's Ferry Review, the Massachusetts Review, Nimrod, [PANK], and Sycamore Review, among others.
The 2013 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is Ross Gay, for his poem "Ode to Sleeping in My Clothes," published in Volume 53, Issue 1.
A Cave Canem Fellow, Ross Gay is author of Against Which and Bringing the Shovel Down, the title poem of which enacts this poet’s excruciating extremes of terror and tenderness, and his profound understanding of what it means to be human. Gay’s poems have appeared in American Poetry Review and Ploughshares, among others, and Terrance Hayes dubbed him “some kind of brilliant latter-day troubadour.” An editor with the chapbook press Q Avenue, he teaches poetry at Indiana University and in the Low-Residency MFA Program at Drew University. He is also on the board of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a publicly-owned, volunteer-run food justice project.
Philip Metres grew up in the suburbs of
Chicago. He graduated from Holy Cross College in 1992, and spent the following year in Russia on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, pursuing an independent project called "Contemporary Russian Poetry and Its Response to Historical Change." Metres went to Indiana University, where he received a Ph.D. in English and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, both in 2001. He is the author of a number of books, including To See the Earth (Cleveland State 2008), Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront since 1941 (University of Iowa Press, 2007), Instants (a chapbook, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2006), Primer for Non-Native Speakers (a chapbook, Kent State 2004), Catalogue of Comedic Novelties: Selected Poems of Lev Rubinstein (Ugly Duckling 2004), and A Kindred Orphanhood: Selected Poems of Sergey Gandlevsky (Zephyr 2003). His writing has been translated into Polish, Russian, and Tamil. Currently, he is an associate professor of English at John Carroll University, where he teaches American Literature and Creative Writing.
The 2011 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is
Joanne Dominique Dwyer for her poem Bull's-eye
Volume 51, Issue 2
Joanne Dominique Dwyer was born and raised in
New York State, but has lived in New Mexico for
most of her adult life where she studied and practiced
Acupuncture for a number of years before working in
a family construction business while raising her two
children. Dwyer began writing poetry and fiction
through a community college class, which led for a
brief time to participation and involvement in spoken word venues such as the Taos Poetry Circus and other
collaborative ventures with visual artists and musicians.
She earned an undergraduate degree in Creative
Writing and Literature at the College of Santa Fe in
2005. Dwyer continued her study of poetry by
obtaining an MFA from Warren Wilson’s Program for
Writers in January, 2009.
Dwyer is a 2008 Rona Jaffe Award recipient for emerging
women writers and a recent Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference
scholar. She has studied with several talented writers including
Dana Levin, Dean Young, and Tony Hoagland. Her poems have
been published in American Poetry Review, Conduit, the
Cortland Reiview, FIELD, Many Mountains Moving, the
Massachusetts Review, the New England Review and TriQuarterly.
Her first book of poems titled Harem has been completed and
a second book of poems is underway.
The 2010 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is
Donald Morril for his poem Enemy Infant
Volume 50, Issue 3
Donald Morrill is the author of two volumes of poetry,
At the Bottom of the Sky and With Your Back to Half
the Day, as well as four books of nonfiction: The
Untouched Minutes (winner of the River Teeth Nonfiction
Prize), Sounding for Cool, A Stranger’s Neighborhood,
and, most recently, Impetuous Sleeper. His work has
appeared widely in journals and anthologies, and his
honors include the Mid-List Press First Series Award,
the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Award, the Emerging
Writers of Creative Nonfiction Award from Duquesne
University Press, and The Missouri Review Editors’ Prize
The 2009 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is
Marilyn Hacker for her poems Ghazal: min al-hobbi
ma khatal, and Ghazal: dar al-harb
Volume 49, Issue 1&2
Marilyn Hacker is the author of eleven books of poems,
most recently Essays on Departure: New and Selected
Poems (Carcanet Press, UK, 2006) and Desesperanto
(Norton, 2003). Recent translations include Guy
Goffette’s Charlestown Blues (University of Chicago Press, 2007) and Vénus Khoury-Ghata’s Nettles
(Graywolf, 2008). She lives in New York and Paris.
The 2008 Winner of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize is
Ralph Black for 21st Century Lecture
Volume 48, Issue 3
Ralph Black's poems have appeared in the Carolina
Quarterly and the Georgia and Gettysburg Reviews,
among other journals. His first book, Turning Over
the Earth, was published by Milkweed Editions. He
teaches at SUNY Brockport, where he is Co-director
of the Brockport Writers Forum.