Our press is honoured, inspired and delighted to announce the judge for the next Sexton Prize (the 4th year running) will be the distinguished major American poet Professor Cornelius Eady. Previous final judges for this award have been Don Share, Kimiko Hahn, and Terese Svoboda - the prize is for any unpublished American poetry collection.

Poet and cofounder of Cave Canem, Cornelius Eady has published more than half a dozen volumes of poetry, among them Victims of the Latest Dance Craze (1985), winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets; The Gathering of My Name (1991), nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; and Brutal Imagination (2001), a National Book Award finalist. Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems appeared in 2008. 

Brutal Imagination includes a theater sequence that responds to the notorious 1994 incident in which Susan Smith, a white woman from South Carolina, claimed that an African American man had kidnapped her children. The FBI searched for the man until Smith confessed the truth: she had invented the man and had drowned the children. Eady’s sequence, which creates a detailed persona of the imaginary suspect, was adapted into an off-Broadway play that won the Newsday Oppenheimer Award. Eady also collaborated with Diedre Murray on a libretto for a roots opera, Running Man, based on his poems, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

His full biography can be found here on the Poetry Foundation website.

We are further pleased to announce that The Black Spring Press Group will be publishing work of Professor Eady's later this year. More news next week about this!

In order to allow more poets to participate, at a time of great need and sorrow, our press will be lowering the submission fee for this year to FREE as of June 19th, 2020, for those who wish to enter their work now. We welcome donations for those who wish to help us cover the prize money and cost of reading all the submissions.

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