We don’t need to tell you that the last several months have been exceptionally brutal. Nor will we comment further, except to say it is in the context of this nationwide brutality that we read manuscripts for the 2017 TS Book Prizes.

We received a rather overwhelming number of expertly crafted texts — literally hundreds, among the several hundred sent to us in total. Choosing our next titles was not easy. It never is. But this go-round felt even more difficult than usual.

No one here is a fan of such terms as “winner” or “finalist” or “semifinalist.” We are using these terms, however, for the benefit of the good folk on the list that follows. We realize that it would be difficult to tell future prospective publishers, or employers, that one’s manuscript was named among the “Voces Mysticae” in a “Ritual Ordeal” presided over by the Hierophants of the Tarpaulin Sky Cult.

The winners of the 2017 TS Book Prizes will join our already-scheduled lineup for 2018 and beyond, which includes a collection of short fiction by Rebecca Brown, Not Heaven, Somewhere Else; a new edition of Claire Donato’s poetry collection, The Second Body; a novel by Steven Dunn, Water & Power; a memoir by Johannes GöranssonPoetry Against All: Diaries; and Christian Peet’s true-crime novel Angela’s Story. New work by finalists will very likely appear in our magazine in the coming days.


Jennifer S. Cheng
Moon: Letters, Maps, Poems

Hybrid / Poetry / Prose
Chosen by Bhanu Kapil

Jennifer S. Cheng is a cross-genre writer. She is the author of House A, selected by Claudia Rankine as winner of the Omnidawn Poetry Book Prize, and Invocation: An Essay, an image-text chapbook published by New Michigan Press. Her poetry, lyric essays, and critical writing appear in Tin House, AGNI, Black Warrior Review, DIAGRAM, The Offing, Entropy, Jacket2, Guernica, and elsewhere. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Hong Kong and received fellowships and awards from Brown University, the University of Iowa, San Francisco State University, Bread Loaf, Kundiman, and the Academy of American Poets. Having grown up in Texas and Hong Kong, she lives in San Francisco. www.jenniferscheng.com

Piper J. Daniels
Ladies Lazarus

Nonfiction /Essays
Chosen by TS Editors

Piper J. Daniels is a Michigan native, queer intersectional feminist, and professional ghostwriter who holds a BA from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA from the University of Washington. Her work appears in Hotel Amerika, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She lives in Seattle, Washington and in Phoenix, Arizona with her dog, Omar Little Daniels.


Cynthia Arrieu-King
The Betweens

Lisa Marie Basile & Alyssa Morhardt-Goldstein

Bridget Brewer
Beasts of Revelation

Meredith Clark

Kate Colby
The Itch

Dia Felix
La Spleen / Sex Panic

Colleen Hollister

Anna Maria Hong
H & G

Ivy Johnson
Born Again

Grant Maierhofer
Drain Songs

Miranda Metelski
Resisting the Book of a Woman Possessed

Katy Mongeau
Possession, Dormition

Aimee Parkison
Gina in the Fire

Katie Jean Shinkle

John Staples
Your Own Worst Enemy

Grace Talusan
The Body Papers

John Trefry
Apparitions of the Living

Margaret Wedge


Julie Babcock
Rules For Rearrangement

Cornelia Barber
Of Mouth and River

Brad Baumgartner
Celeste: Our Lady of Flowering Marvel

Erin M. Bertram
The Vanishing of Camille Claudel

Marty Cain
The Wound Is (Not) Real: A Memoir

Serena Chopra
Queerly is the Night

Joshua Corey
Hannah and the Master

Martin Corless-Smith

Meg Cowen

Isabelle Davis
Light Curtained It

Brett DeFries

Karen Donovan
Aard-vark to Axolotl

Biswamit Dwibedy
Hubble Gardener

Maia Elgin
Neverhurt: A Circus in Five Nuva Rings

David Feinstein
Death Drive

Alaina Ferris
To Be Awake Means To Will

Bradley J. Fest
The Shape of Things

Declan Gould

Nicholas Gulig

Claire Hero
The Raw & The Cooked

Abeer Y. Hoque
Memory Alone

Tim Jones-Yelvington
Strike a Prose: Memoirs of a Lit Diva Extraordinaire

Jeff T. Johnson
The Book / Or / The Woods

Jared Joseph
love / love. love. Love / love. love?) love / love / love / Love

Kirsten Kaschock
Numbness, the practice

Bobbi Lurie
Tomorrow Will Be More Real Than Yesterday

Jennifer Maritza McCauley
Scar On/Scar Off

Justin Marks
Some Other Self / The Comedown

Kristi Maxwell
As the Weight to the Limb

Megan McShea
Steep in the Boil

Joe Milazzo
Of All Places In This Place Of All Places

Teresa K. Miller
California Building

Christina Milletti
Choke Box: a Fem-Noir

Chris Muravez
The Body Full of Hell

Matthew Nye
Still Life with Opium

Gabriel Ojeda-Sague
Jazzercise is a Language

Michael Peirson
The Bare Facts

Jennifer Pilch
Mother Color

Bailey Pittenger
Sad Sad

Hilary Plum

Nina Puro
Each Tree Could Hold a Noose or a House

Natalie Raymond

Monica Regan
Figure in a Field: Findings from the Cusp of the Anthropocene

Michael Rerick

Jenny Sadre-Orafai

Stephanie Sauer
Almonds Are Members of the Peach Family

Kate Schapira
Dear Letter Dear World

Michael J Seidlinger
The Night Fire

Sarah Sgro
Without Them I Am Still A Mother

Jessica Smith
Glazed Glitter

Dao Strom
The Assassin’s Wife

Dennis James Sweeney
In the Antarctic Circle

Dan Thomas-Glass
I Hope That Everyone In the World Is Free

Emily Toder

Joanna C. Valente
When White Men Tell Me Things About My Body

C.J. Waterman
Superimposed Sky

Leia Penina Wilson
this red metropolis what remains

Candice Wuehle
Party Spirit

Meagen Youngdahl
Arizona Lights

Christina Yu
Yao Skims the Tops of Golden Lilies