A Spotlight on the Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

This year, Cave Canem will open its fifth annual Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize. Established in 2015 by Cave Canem fellow and former Executive Director Nicole Sealey, in collaboration with P. Scott Cunningham, founder and director of O, Miami, the prize was launched in honor of Cave Canem’s 20th anniversary. Dedicated to the discovery of exceptional chapbook-length manuscripts by Black poets, prize-winners receive $500, publication by Jai-Alai Books, 10 complimentary copies, a week-long residency at The Writers Room at The Betsy-South Beach and a featured reading at the O, Miami Poetry Festival. Previous recipients include Cave Canem fellows Rio Cortez and Nick Makoha, as well as Layla Benitez-James.  

Last year, Mia S. Willis was selected as the 2018 awardee by prize judge Dawn Lundy Martin, for their manuscript, monster house. (Jai-Alai Books, 2019). Mia is a Black performance poet from Charlotte, North Carolina. In 2019, Mia has been named a Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry, the first two-time Capturing Fire Slam Champion, the Young Artist Fellow at ChaShaMa’s ChaNorth residency and a collaborator in Forward Together’s Transgender Day of Resilience Art Project. They are a recipient of the 2018 Foothill Editors’ Prize for their poem “hecatomb,” which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and included in Best New Poets 2018 (Uni. of Virginia Press, 2019). In 2018, they ranked fourth out of 96 femme poets at the Women of the World Poetry Slam.

Cave Canem is now accepting submissions to the 2019 Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize! Black poets of African descent at any stage in their career are welcome to submit. This year’s prize judge is Danez Smith. Manuscripts are accepted online via Submittable, now through September 30, 2019. Visit the prize page for guidelines.