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Announcing the 2019 Winner of the Flo Gault Poetry Prize

We're pleased to announce the winner of our 2019 Flo Gault Poetry Prize for Kentucky Undergraduates: Aileen Tierney for her poem "Cold Snap."

Aileen will receive $500 and a letterpress broadside of her winning poem, printed by Hound Dog Press. Congratulations, Aileen and all our winners and honorees!


First Prize: "Cold Snap" by Aileen Tierney (University of Kentucky)
Second: "Late Bloomer" by Zoey Morris (University of Louisville)
Third: "What advice will you give to your daughters that was not given to you?" by Courtney Cox (Asbury University)


"Skin splayed out on the pavement of the night" by Andrea Doll (Bellarmine University)
"Self Improvement" by Vanessa Fuller (University of Louisville)
"Himmelkompass Joy: Samsara" by Brady Alexander (University of Louisville)

This prize is made possible through the generosity of the Gault Family in loving memory of Flo Gault. For more information on this prize and other writing opportunities from Sarabande Books, visit our submissions page.


Get These Books Before Anyone Else Only at AWP

We want all our readers to be prepared for #AWP19. Find our backlist classics and current titles, and these select forthcoming titles at Booth 7089 in the Bookfair!!!

[Lia Purpura] evinces great skill as a prose writer in this volume of meditations on nature and society. . . . Amid the numerous essay collections driven by concern over climate change, Purpura’s stands out for its passionate intensity.
‘Dear Delinquent’ was Edna St. Vincent Millay’s address to her lover, and Townsend’s newest collection—by turns erotic and elegiac—continues in Millay’s passionate lyric tradition. Full of the sensual delights, Townsend explores the (sometimes uneasy) ways in which heartache lives alongside pleasure. A child’s joyful maturation alleviates the tragedy of a lost child, the powerful undertow of sex supersedes the hurt of infidelity. Like the mare who ‘only knows the present tense,’ we rally, ‘testing with [our] teeth’ the flimsy boxes that attempt to hold us.
— Paisley Rekdal
Joe Sacksteder’s MAKE/SHIFT is a marvelously inventive book, formally restless, endlessly playful even at its bleakest, a Rube Goldberg machine of experimental fiction artfully hammered together out of high school traumas, late capitalist ephemera, and insider jokes about Werner Herzog. This is a book of feints and swerves and surprises, a debut collection that takes real risks and delivers real rewards.
— Matt Bell, author of SCRAPPER

If you want to get one of our titles signed by the author, you can read up on the AWP signing schedule as well as the schedule of the events’ panels here.

Add our 25th Anniversary Party offsite event to your schedule! Glam up in silver for our silver year!

News, Featured Authors


Reenactments, Hai-Dang Phan

"Must-Read Poetry: February 2019," The Millions

In Reenactments, Hai-Dang Phan grapples with the history, memory, and legacy of the Vietnam War from his vantage point as the son of Vietnamese refugees. Through a kaleidoscope of poetic forms, the past and present, the remembered and imagined, all intersect at shifting angles providing urgent perspectives on conflicts both private and public. Phan weaves throughout the collection stories of his family’s exodus from Vietnam, thoughtfully reenacting an American experience of immigration, dislocation, inheritance, and hope. And, in a fresh move, Phan widens the lens, incorporating translations of several Vietnamese poets. This moving debut marks a vital addition to the literature of immigration and a distinctive contribution to contemporary poetry.

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hai dang phan author photo.jpg

Hai-Dang Phan was born in Vietnam in 1980 and grew up in Wisconsin. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Best American Poetry 2016, and the chapbook, Small Wars. He is the recipient of an NEA Literature Fellowship, the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry, and the New England Review Award for Emerging Writers. He currently teaches at Grinnell College and lives in Iowa City, Iowa. Reeanactments is his first book.


“'To make things worse, they are extremely supportive of my choices' is such a strange and quintessentially immigrant utterance. . . .What to do with the guilt we feel that our lives are often so much easier than the lives of our parents? How can any of our fears, anxieties, lonelinesses be worth mentioning when theirs have been so great? For you (and often, for myself), I prescribe Hai-Dang Phan’s “My Father’s ‘Norton Introduction to Literature,’ Third Edition (1981).”

—Kaveh Akbar, The Paris Review

"Phan's debut unflinchingly presents the trauma inherited through cultural memory as a kind of endless war reenactment. In these poems, even the most mundane setting is haunted by living ghosts. . . . These poems are unadorned and ominous in their vision of memory, a clarion that never ceases to alarm or awe."

Publishers Weekly

"Phan’s mixture of original and translated work creates a unique debut that is both singular and anthological."

—Nick Ripatrazone, The Millions

“Hai-Dang Phan is a poet of fearless vision. With brutal and exquisite precision, he reveals that the effort to make art out of the real world—history, memory, and experience—often intensifies a feeling of irresolution. The brilliance of his first book Reenactments: Poems and Translations lies in a deft interrogation of mimesis and, in particular, how representing the history of war and migration for Vietnamese Americans can reify silences, erasures, and cultural dislocations. But Phan also builds a powerful stay against despair through translations that spotlight contemporary Vietnamese poetry while slyly suggesting that no language or history is isolate and every poem may very well be a translation. Such remarkable insights accumulate, and by book’s end I was struck by the immense beauty and feeling of Reenactments and had to read it again.”  

—Jennifer Chang

Events, News

Sarabande Books at AWP 2019

AWP is right around the corner, and we have all the info you'll need to keep up with Sarabande right here. Find us in the bookfair at Booth 7089 or at our offsite event on Thursday (details below) celebrating our 25th anniversary. We're stacking the books high with all our favorite titles from over the years, all our new titles, and a few you can snag early. Follow us on Twitter (@sarabandebooks) and Facebook, and look for updates in the official #AWP19 hashtag. 



THURSDAY, March 28

FRIDAY, March 29

  • 12:30 - 1:30 Joe Sacksteder signing debut short story collection Make/Shift

  • 1:30 - 2:30 Paige Lewis signing limited edition broadside of titular poem for their debut collection Space Struck, printed by Hound Dog Press

  • 1:30 - 2:30 Peter Mishler signing his collection of poetry Fludde

  • 2:30 - 3:30 Rosellen Brown signing her novel The Lake on Fire

  • 3:30 - 4:30 Pamela Hart signing the 2017 Kathryn A. Morton Prize winning collection Mothers Over Nangarhar

  • 3:30-4:30 Hai-Dang Phan signing his newest collection of poems and translations Reenactments


Celebrate 25 years of Sarabande Books!

We’re having an anniversary party on Thursday March 28th, party the night away with us at Union/Pine from 7pm until 10pm!

Be one of the first 100 people to join our 25th anniversary celebration and get a free signature cocktail! Play ping pong with your friends and Sarabande authors, take photos in our photo booth with takeaway print outs, or dance away the night under a disco ball! Wear your best silver-studded, sequined, or foiled dresses and capes for the ultimate glam night. 

Enjoy our signature cocktails, Fierce Tethers and The Sarabandit, beer, or wine responsibly. 

  • “Fierce Tethers”: Old Forester Classic Bourbon 86 Proof, Angostura Bitters, Ginger Ale, Lemon Peel

  • "The Sarabandit": Old Forester, single pour


FIND US ON PANELS AND READINGS: bolded panels are hosted by Sarabande!

THURSDAY, March 28

FRIDAY, March 29

SATURDAY, March 30