2017 Black Box Poetry Prize Results

Hello Dear Readers,  

Rescue Press is thrilled to announce Paola Capó-García as the winner of this year’s Black Box Poetry Prize. Capó-García’s manuscript, CLAP FOR ME THAT’S NOT ME, was chosen by our judge, D.A. Powell, and will be published in the 2018-2019 catalog. 

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Paola Capó-García is a poet and translator from San Juan, PR, based in San Diego, CA. She received her B.S. in Journalism from Syracuse University, her M.A. in English from UC Davis, and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UCSD, where she occasionally teaches. Her poems have appeared in The Volta, Deluge, Salt Hill, h_ngm_n, and NightBlock; and her reporting in BOMB, Variety, Remezcla, and ELLE. She co-founded/edits littletell with Maria Flaccavento.

Thanks to all of the wonderful poets who sent us work this year and congratulations to the finalists, listed below. We’d also like to remind you that Andrea Lawlor’s Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl (novel) and Stella Corso’s Tantrum (poetry) will be available for pre-order on October 1st.

Upcoming titles at Rescue Press include second books of poetry by Philip Sorenson and Andy Stallings as well as Caren Beilin’s Spain, our 2017 Open Prose selection.

Rescue Press


Melissa Barrett’s Moon on Roam
Rosebud Ben-Oni’s Turn Around, Brxght Xyxs
Emily Bludworth de Barrios’s Having Stumbled in a Thicket of Shadowy Desires
Emily Carlson’s Sleeping with Phosphorus
Christy Davids’s Woo Me
Biswamit Dwibedy’s Hubble Gardener
M.J. Gette’s Majority Reef
Lindsay Gail Gibson’s Our Latter Affluence
Anna Meister’s To Take up Space
Tessa Micaela’s Little Beasts
Heidi Reszies’s Illusory Borders
Robert Yerachmiel Sniderman’s Deform

2016 Black Box Poetry Prize Results:

Dear Readers, 

Rescue Press is thrilled to announce Stella Corso as the winner of this year’s Black Box Poetry Prize. Stella’s manuscript, Cars, Stars, & Planes, was chosen by our judge, Douglas Kearney, and will be published in our 2017-2018 catalog. 

Stella Corso is a writer and performer living in Western Mass. A graduate of the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at UMass-Amherst, she is a founding member of the Connecticut River Valley Poets Theater (CRVPT) and also performs with Xfinity Theater. Some of her recent work can be found in Fanzine; jubilat; Sprung Formal; and Forklift, Ohio. She currently teaches at Western New England University and Holyoke Community College.

Thanks to all of the wonderful poets who sent us work this year and congratulations to the finalists (below). We would also like to remind you that our newest books—including Vanessa Jimenez Gabb’s Images for Radical Politics (poetry), Hilary Plum’s Watchfires (memoir), and Zach Savich’s Diving Makes the Water Deep (memoir)—are available for pre-order now.

Upcoming Rescue Press titles include Adrienne Raphel’s What Was It For (poetry), Andrea Lawlor’s Paul Takes the Guise of a Mortal Girl (novel), as well as second books of poetry by Philip Sorenson and Andy Stallings

Rescue Press

Samuel Ace’s You thought there was a road
Paola Capo-Garcia’s Clap For Me That’s Not Me
Michael Flatt’s Parallaxis
Binswanger Friedman’s The Four Color Problem
Emily Liebowitz’s National Park
David Maduli’s Hole in the Horizon
Beth Roberts’s Evolvers
Dominique Salas’s Unoriginal Danger
Crossley Simmons’s a coming of age scoop neck tee
Barbara Tomash’s PRE-
Timothy Yu’s Catalogical

2015 Black Box Poetry Prize Results:

Dear Friends & Readers,

Rescue Press is thrilled to announce Adrienne Raphel as the winner of this year’s Black Box Poetry Prize. Adrienne’s manuscript, What Was It For, was chosen by our judge, Cathy Park Hong, and will be published in our 2016-17 catalog. We've also selected Vanessa Jimenez Gabb’s Images for Radical Politics as our Editor’s Choice, to be published the same year.

Adrienne Raphel was raised in southern New Jersey and northern Vermont. She has an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard. Her chapbook, But What Will We Do, is forthcoming from Seattle Review. Raphel is a regular contributor to the New Yorker online. Her writing has also appeared in, among other publications, the Paris Review Daily, the Atlantic online, Assignment, Lana Turner JournalPrelude, and Poetry Northwest.

Vanessa Jimenez Gabb is the author of the chapbooks midnight blue (Porkbelly Press, 2015) and Weekend Poems (dancing girl press, 2014). She is the co-founder of Five Quarterly and teaches at Newark Academy. She is from and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Thanks to all of the wonderful poets who sent us work and congratulations to the finalists. We'd also like to remind you that Sara Deniz Akant’s Babette, winner of last year’s Black Box Poetry Prize (chosen by Maggie Nelson), is available for pre-order along with Dot Devota’s The Division of Labor. 

Rescue Press

Kirsten Kaschock: Confessional Sci-Fi: A Primer
Emily Liebowitz: National Park

J’Lynn Chapman: Beastlife
Stella Corso: Eat Island
Claudia Cortese: Wasp Queen
Ginger Ko: Inherit
Sara Renee Marshall: To Be New For the Empire
Jenn Marie Nunes: Those People
Michael Shea: Winner of the Fence Modern Poets Prize
Carleen Tibbetts: Dossier for the Postverbal
CL Young: Overhead Projector

Todd Melicker's rendezvous

rendezvous.melicker.SPDNOW AVAILABLE!!Purchase from our website or SPD.

In Todd Melicker's remarkable debut collection, rendezvous, the reader finds lines that join, converse, and split apart so completely that at times they literally flip, becoming distorted reflections of their own initial utterance. These are poems troubled by adoration and desire, evolution, and the spiraling of the mind immersed in measurement and inquiry. In quick succession we move from the differences between "more sun" and "same sun" to the abundance of the "floodworld/worried" and the strict limitations of "these daily tasks." Melicker writes—of love, of meeting, of the sun's slow revolution, and of return—in ways that keep these poems circling through the reader's mind. "i'm coming aware of the whole, what" he discloses, and "that all parts/ belong."

"Todd Melicker's rendezvous shapes itself as a series of creation stories. In the process of forming and naming, he enacts intimacies that are at the heart of creation, for Melicker comprehends a tenderness not immediate to the rest of us, derived, as we are 'from the/given up/divine etcetera.' His deeper perception causes imagination and formal assurance (which suffuse this book) to fall away like 'seedship or boathusk' before 'the living arrival' of recognition. So we meet and so we are dispelled 'where the first half we believe/ & the second half believes us.'" —Elizabeth Robinson

"A rendezvous is typically between two people, in one case, say, between poet and listener, the poem and the one who has come so gratefully to read Todd Melicker's long awaited first book. A rendezvous is charged, full of potentiality and longing ... Like Creeley, Melicker is a poet of rooms, of domesticity and day. In Melicker's rooms there is great disharmony, so harmoniously clustered. When we wake in these rooms, we can ask, just what is day? What is the lyric? In the rendezvous Melicker has so importunely invited us to, fantastic moments arise sudden as love and its psychic upheavals—'the astronaut steps from his cul-de-sac of fluid oxygen.' Something new seems to be going on with the abstract lyric here, in the exacting music of Melicker's work, where 'the room is broken/and we live in it.' How bracing to have such a trusting guide as Melicker, since 'to swallow/light there is/no needle like me.'" —Gillian Conoley

"Todd Melicker's rendezvous is a charged and beautifully uneasy meeting—something primal off a new ark, of Eve and what's his name, of Adam and what's her name. Our attention is directed to the forces and pivots at play, as if the world were being made (currently) angle by angle, word by word. Haunted by science and math, there is some kind of evolutionary imperative at work, as if humans too (those 'reanimals') were also in the process of being made. Ever attended by the birds in their watchfulness—voyagers between realms—Melicker's elegantly controlled lyricism carries the ache and arc of sentience, of verses becoming voices in the shimmer." —Aaron Shurin


Todd Melicker daily wanders the streets of Petaluma, CA, gathering data as a GPS technician. He is the author of the chapbooks day collects (Woodland Editions), the immaculate autopsy (Achiote Press), and king & queen (LRL Textile Editions). rendezvous (Rescue Press, 2013) is his first full-length collection. Recently, he was managing editor of VOLT and his work has appeared in Ambush Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, and New American Writing.