Poetry contest

BOMB Magazine | 2022 BOMB Poetry Contest Winner Announcement

Author photo by Arrold Walton.

BOMB is honored to announce that Donte Collins is the winner of our 2022 Poetry Contest. Guest Judge Solmaz Sharif selected this year’s winner, who will receive a $1,000 prize and be published in our Fall 2022 issue. .

In his quote for Collins, Sharif writes:

The poems speak for themselves, and around and to the side. Funny, frank, scathing, patient, whirling, they are fluid in their turn of phrase, of repetition. Take Collins’ “Basquiat ode,” which in his review reads almost like a palimpsest unfolding in real time, syntax superimposed in layers of paint, sign, self.

Collins’ poems vary in tone, in tactic, in form, though throughout they form a single unified thread – red, perhaps. Anger may be one word for it, clarity another. It’s a blade, something sharp and easy. Something is loyal to it. Bring the end of the world. To awaken us to the deadly deadly machinations to which we are otherwise doomed. “To say I heard you / to bring you together…” says a poet who knows and refuses the figurative circus. These poems are a “pressurized song”, a poet’s brass revision and an ontology where “the revision kept me alive”.

Reading these poems by Donte Collins prepares me.

Three of their poems will be published in BOMB 161 next September.

Donte Collins is a neurodivergent Afro-Surrealist blues poet and playwright named Saint Paul, Minnesota’s first Youth Poet Laureate. They have received fellowships, fellowships and awards from the Academy of American Poets, Adroit Journal, McKnight Foundation, National Urban League, University of Augsburg, Dramatist Guild Foundation, of Frontier Poetry and the Indiana Review. Their chorepoem “Mercy” is forthcoming.

A panel of readers, which included BOMB editors and Stéphanie Jean, winner of our 2020 Poetry Prize, identified this year’s finalists:

  • k Abram
  • Lori Groff
  • Rachel Han
  • Malvika Jolly
  • Sharon Mariem
  • Greg Nissan
  • Preeti Parikh
  • Molly Schaeffer
  • Stack of madeleines

BOMB’s annual literary competition recognizes the work of an outstanding writer selected by a distinguished guest judge. Previous winners are Edward Salem, Stephanie Jean and Alexandra Gauss. Each year alternates between fiction and poetry, and this year’s poetry competition received a record number of submissions.

BOMB congratulates our 2022 winner and runners-up, and we are grateful to everyone who submitted their poetry for giving us the opportunity to consider their work.