2018 Honeysuckle Chapbook Contest Results


We are honored to announce the winners and finalists of our second annual chapbook contest. We thank judge Danez Smith for thoughtfully considering the five semifinalists and choosing our poetry winner and finalists. The winning chapbooks will be published later this year, alongside one other chapbook from the 2018 contest.



chosen by Danez Smith

WINNER | deus ex nigrum by jasmine reid

“Deas Ex Nigrum is the strange, muscular song I’ve been looking for. These poems ring with a lyric intelligence endued with such mighty heart, such urgent and bright living. Can I be real? I cried. I shook. I danced. I needed these poems. What an offering this poet gives us, never lowering the tenor of their genius to meet the valley of our deep woe recognized and healed through these poems. Won’t you celebrate with me this poet who has given me my whole life? One who can dazzle us with such inventive poetry, but also tell it like it straight up is and say, “if I am to be a twist ending/ let it be that I lived.” I live."

-- Danez Smith


Jasmine Reid is a twice trans poet-child of flowers. A 2018 Poets House Fellow and MFA candidate at Cornell University, her work has been published in Muzzle Magazine, Apogee, Poetry Daily, Yemassee Journal, WUSGOOD?, and WATER. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominated poet, Jasmine was born and raised in Baltimore, MD, and is currently based in Ithaca, NY. Find her at reidjasmine.com



  Finalists | rinse by christell roach*

coming of age in arabish by mejdulene b shomali




chosen by Honeysuckle Staff

winner | wrong june by aidan forster

"Wrong June explores Southern, queer, suburban boyhood as conservatism threatens to alienate and silence it. Forster deftly carries us through this collection with lush prose and imagery, and a lyricism we couldn’t forget. His characters’ desperate need to “not think that love, beauty, and intimacy are distant and unknowable,” is deeply engaging and most importantly, human. We chose Wrong June because of the skillful way it prods and undoes the limitations of masculinity, creating spaces for magic, desire, and survival.”

-- Simone Person, Honeysuckle Press prose editor

Aidan Forster Headshot.jpg

Aidan Forster is a queer writer from Greenville, South Carolina. A 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts and 2017 Tin House Poetry Fellow, his work appears in Best New Poets 2017, BOAAT, Columbia Poetry Review, Ninth Letter, and Tin House, among others. His debut chapbook of poems, Exit Pastoral, is forthcoming from YesYes Books in 2019. He studies Literary Arts and Public Health at Brown University. He was born in 2000.


Finalists | Your Heart, Among Other Things by Ariel Chu

letters from a dead black woman by onyekachi iwu

Submissions for the next Honeysuckle Chapbook Contest will open in the fall of 2019.

Thank you so much to everyone who sent us their work and stayed with us throughout this journey! We send you light & warmth.



*Offered publication