2023 Perugia Press Prize Results
WINNER: The Book Eaters by Carolina Hotchandani
In Carolina Hotchandani’s debut The Book Eaters, the poet’s desire for agency over her life’s narrative is counterbalanced by her awareness that poetry is written precisely when life wrests control from us. This book, conceived in loss, examines shifts in identity due to Partition, immigration, illness, and birth. As roles evolve and dissolve, the poet witnesses the decay of language, artifacts, and history, yet these erasures are also generative: they beget poetic creation. The Book Eaters is a study in belonging as well—to our bodies, our memories, our stories, ourselves, our families, our cultures. Hotchandani’s poems interrogate what it means to be full or empty (of words, of the past, of another human being); they illuminate our inextricability from our creaturehood. Even as they explore unraveling—through the metaphor of insects that devour the very pages we produce—these poems are tightly woven into an exquisitely crafted, cohesive collection.
Carolina Hotchandani is a Latinx/South Asian poet born in Brazil and raised in various parts of the United States. She holds degrees from Brown, Texas State, and Northwestern universities. Her honors include fellowships from Tin House Writers’ Workshop, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. Her poetry has appeared in AGNI, Alaska Quarterly Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Blackbird, Cincinnati Review, Prairie Schooner, and other journals. She is a Goodrich Assistant Professor of English in Omaha, Nebraska, where she lives with her husband and daughter.
* The Book Eaters will be released in September 2023 *
Monique-Adelle Callahan, Rupture Saba Husain, Elegy for My Tongue Michelle Whittaker, Spoke the Dark Matter
Caitlin Dwyer, In the Salt Emily Jaeger, Slit B. Fulton Jennes, Small Animals Bryana Joy, Summer of the Oystercatchers Abbie Kiefer, Almost Tender Viola Lee, The Only Home Lana Marilyn, Holes in the Water Aria Pahari, Threat Perception Barbara Schwartz, What Survives Is the Fire Caroline Shea, Some Nerve Sunni Wilkinson, Rodeo Rewa Zeinati, I Had No Desire to Leave This Place