First Book Award Winner: Zayne Turner

2015 First Book Award Winner

Zayne Turner for “Body Burden”


Tracie Morris: “This manuscript is visceral, bold and expansive. The writing and its organization is physically impactful. The range of writings and the seamless ways in which very different types of writing interact with each other unites driven and divergent environments of poetic thought. Body Burden inhabits the body. It’s a pleasure to read, see and *feel* with the body.”

Zayne TurnerZayne Turner, grew up in the rural High Desert of Oregon. She is the author of the chapbook Memory of My Mouth, from dancing girl press, and chapbooks and broadsides published in her name and collaboratively as T.H. Peros by Edison St. Press. She has received grants and fellowships for literary & visual arts from the Arteles Creative Center in Finland, Oregon Arts Commission, Vermont Studio Center and the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow. She lives and works in Minneapolis

Finalists: Nancy Chen Long & Leah Huizar

Morris: “Light Into Bodies fills the senses with the cracks and crinkles, the delicate reverberations that indicate the fragility of life. It’s understatement and economy fully engages unsettling remembrances for the reader as someone who engages in this world, this family as well as the ghosts of one’s own.”     

Nancy Chen Long is the author of the chapbook Clouds as Inkblots for the War Prone (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2013). Recent work is in Bat City Review, Pleiades, Superstition Review, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. As a volunteer with the local Writers Guild, she coordinates a reading series and offers free poetry workshops to the public. Nancy has a BS in Electrical Engineering Technology, an MBA and MFA, and worked as an electrical engineer, software consultant, and project manager. She currently works at Indiana University in the Research Technologies division.

Morris: “The landscape in this beautiful manuscript is rich, verdant and a tough terrain. The book presents work through an unflinching panoramic vision. I enjoyed experiencing these poems of “Inland Empire” over and over.”

Leah Huizar  is a Mexican-American writer originally from Southern California. She holds an MFA from The Pennsylvania State University and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Nimrod, Crab Orchard Review, Nashville Review, and elsewhere.