Announcing the winner of the 2015 Susan K. Collins/Mississippi Valley Poetry Chapbook Contest

Midwest Writing Center is thrilled to announce the winner of the 2015 Susan K. Collins/Mississippi Valley Poetry Chapbook Contest…

Our esteemed judge, CM Burroughs, has selected Outsiders by Cherise A. Pollard of West Chester, PA as the winner of the 2015 Susan K. Collins/Mississippi Valley Poetry Chapbook Contest. Congratulations Cherise!

We had a terrific group of manuscripts to read and it was wonderfully difficult to select a group of finalists to send to our judge (see list of finalists). Several of these finalist manuscripts be appearing in print soon. MWC Press will be publishing Outsiders in late spring or early summer 2016, with pre-orders beginning in April.

Finalists of the 2015 Susan K. Collins/ Mississippi Valley Poetry Chapbook Contest

Kelli Allen – Some Animals
Law Alsobrook – Among the Curious Animals
Rachel Bennett – The Great Underground Empire
Brian Burmeister – The Things We Did, All the Things that We Do
Lee Chilcote – The Shape of Home
Trish Lindsey Jaggers – Holonym
Allison Joseph – Corporal Muse
Kristen Renzi – Saudade for a Breaking Heart
Beth Torres – Where I’m From
David Wright – In the Vernacular Gallery

The 2016 Susan K. Collins/Mississippi Valley Chapbook Contest will open for submissions April 1, and will remain open through September 30, 2016. For complete details on this year’s contest and submission guidelines, please visit the contest website at


About Cherise A. Pollard

CPOllard_use this photoCherise A. Pollard, PhD, is Professor of English at West Chester University of Pennsylvania where she teaches African American Literature, Composition, and Creative Writing and is the Director of the African and African American Literature Minor. She earned her PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh where she also participated in poetry workshops.  A Cave Canem Fellow, Pollard attended the workshop/retreat for African American poets from 1997-1999. She also attended the Callaloo Poetry Workshop in 2004. Her work has appeared in  several journals including 5 AM, Affilia: The Journal of Women in Social Work, African American Review, Connotations Press, The Healing Muse, The Mom Egg, The Pittsburgh Poetry Review, PoemMemoirStory, and Rattle. Her poem, “Sugar Babe” was a Finalist for the 2015 Rattle Poetry Prize.  In 2006, Pollard was awarded a grant from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. Cherise A. Pollard currently serves on the Advisory Board of Poetry by the Sea: A Global Conference held annually in Madison, CT.