Demetrius “Meech” Buckley Wins 2021 Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize
We are honored to announce that Lillian-Yvonne Bertram has selected Demetrius “Meech” Buckley as the winner of the 2021 Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady Cave Canem Chapbook Prize for his manuscript Here is Home. Buckley will receive $500, publication by Jai-Alai Books in spring 2022, copies of the chapbook, a residency at The Writer’s Room at The Betsy Hotel in Miami, and a featured reading at the O, Miami Poetry Festival. The following poets have been recognized as finalists: Mike Crossley (to be young black and gifted), and Kameryn Alexa Carter (Confessional).
Meech is a prolific poet and essayist, whose work has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, PEN America, RHINO, and elsewhere. Meech is currently incarcerated in Baraga Correctional Facility in Michigan. In lieu of a headshot, Demetrius is represented in this portrait drawn by Daniella Toosie-Watson.
In his own words: “My name is Demetrius Buckley. Writing has always been a playground for my imagination. It took me a few wrong turns to understand my calling and with those wrong turns, I still ended in the beginning of my purpose, or direction of it. My reflection is to the people I desire communion with, to those upbringings unchosen to the child which dilutes the imagination with a speedy growth. It’s hard to dream while fighting at a young age. Without art we are nonexistent; without life, we are nothing more but a rock waiting to be sand.”
Launched in 2015 with Ross Gay’s selection of Rio Cortez’s I Have Learned to Define a Field as a Space Between Mountains, the annual Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize is dedicated to the discovery of exceptional chapbook-length manuscripts by Black poets. It is presented in collaboration with the O, Miami Poetry Festival and The Betsy – South Beach. The 2021 Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize will be open for submissions in summer 2022.