My Poetry Book Wins Contest!

Some good news! My first full-length poetry collection has been accepted by Texas Review Press (see the first link in the comments). My book was chosen for their Southern Breakthrough Series, a contest that seeks new works from a different southern state each year. My collection, titled Scrape the Velvet from Your Antlers, was chosen to represent WV, my home state. The title refers to something bucks do to harden their antlers in anticipation of the fighting come mating season. This is my first full-length book, a longstanding dream of mine! The book will debut in February 2023. My thanks to TRP, all the editors who first published these poems, and especially the editors at Kestrel, A Journal of Literature and Art, where the title poem first appeared (thanks Donna Long, @Elizabeth Savage, Suzanne Heagy). #poetry


Winner of Redivider Journal’s AWP Poetry Contest


While I was in China, I got an email from the editors at Redivider, Emerson College’s lit magazine, that a piece I submitted to their contest got picked up for publication–winning their AWP Quickie Contest at the Association of Writing Programs’ Conference in Boston back in February. Funny, but the news came just a day or so after I found the poem on my iPad, having totally forgotten about submitting it, and began tinkering with it to pass the time as we drove through the low fields of the Chinese countryside. I am very much looking forward to seeing this work in print this winter. Even better, the poem was selected by R. Dwayne Betts, an amazing poet and essayist and a national spokesperson for the Campaign for Youth Justice, not to mention a recipient of an NAACP Image Award. Wow! Extremely grateful!

From Redivider:
“Congratulations to our AWP Quickie Contest winner Kelly McQuain whose poem “Camping As Boys in the Cow Field” will be published in issue 11.1!”