Chapbook Contest 2019 Winners

CutBank is thrilled to announce the winners of our 2019 Chapbook Contest! Congratulations to Eric LeMay, Dorsey Craft, and Kathryn Merwin, whose books will be published by CutBank in 2020.



Remember Me: An Essay by Eric LeMay

About the Author:

Eric LeMay is a writer and artist working in print and multimedia formats. He is the author of four books. He has taught writing at Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Chicago. He is currently on the faculty of the writing program at Ohio University, his alma mater. He is also a host on the New Books Network. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry Daily, the Best Food Writing series, and other venues. He lives in Athens, Ohio, with his wife and fellow writer, Kristin LeMay, and their son. He is online at

What Our Judges Say:

"It's rare to see such a complex story of illness and fatherhood, bordering on the edge of the intimate."

"It's a cancer story told with the focus on memory. It becomes less about cancer and more about legacy, and that's something I'm excited to read, particularly because this meditation on legacy feels so earnest and urgent, and at times achingly desperate."

"This piece is powerful in its tenderness. Some lines I loved for their beauty or perceptiveness, some for the rawness of the emotion they either evoked or conveyed."

"Gorgeous and moving and technically sound. I haven't been able to forget it."



The Pirate Anne Bonny Dances the Tarantella by Dorsey Craft


About the Author:

Dorsey Craft holds an MFA in poetry from McNeese State University and a BA in English from Clemson University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Colorado Review, Greensboro Review, Massachusetts Review, Ninth Letter, Passages North, Poetry Daily, Southern Indiana Review, Thrush Poetry Journal and elsewhere. She is currently a Ph.D candidate in poetry at Florida State and a Poetry Editor at The Southeast Review.

What Our Judges Say:

"It's so unique, and in a way that feels masterful and natural."

"A strangeness that dazzles."

"This is all so incredibly visual and so present and urgent even in the past sections. I love the way they weave together. Nothing feels indulgent. "

"This is such an intriguing thematic concept exploring gendered/anti-gendered experiences through the vehicle of Anne Bonny, and the speaker's voice remains clear throughout. The language is gorgeous and weird.

Kathryn Merwin.jpeg

Womanskin by Kathryn Merwin

About the Author:

Kathryn Merwin’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Cutbank, Hayden's Ferry Review, diode, Sugar House Review, Prairie Schooner, and Blackbird. She has read and/or reviewed for the Bellingham Review and The Adroit Journal, and serves as co-editor-in-chief of Milk Journal. She received her MFA in poetry from Western Washington University and currently lives in the District of Columbia. Connect with her at

What Our Judges Say:

"The nods between poems work well and I love that there's an unwavering backbone to it even when it switches from weirdly/personally encyclopedic to dreamlike or memory driven or a list. There are so many moments I can't get over and I love writing that can't be pinned under one genre/form, which is what this chapbook seems to do even though it was submitted under 'poetry.'"

"Haunting and layered with a richness of language and sound—almost a rhythmic slight-of-hand that has the power to conceal and expose simultaneously. The echoes throughout become their own kind of song."

"The voice is unwavering throughout the entirety of the chapbook. It's thematically strong and explores womanhood/personhood through a carefully mapped-out formal landscape. I love the cyclical return of "One night we drove through." And the first page's toying with form is the most intriguing."

The CutBank Chapbook Contest honors three works of startling, evocative, and beautiful new writing in prose and poetry each year. To purchase previous chapbook winners, please visit our online store.