Jean Prokott Wins 2021 Howling Bird Press Poetry Prize

Press Release


March 5, 2021

Jean Prokott Wins 2021 Howling Bird Press Poetry Prize

MINNEAPOLIS, March 5, 2021—Howling Bird Press has awarded its 2021 poetry prize to Almost Sunset at High Noon by Jean Prokott of Rochester, Minnesota. The press will publish the book in fall 2021, and Prokott receives a $1,000 prize. Prokott’s work was chosen in a national competition from among more than 200 submissions.

Almost Sunset at High Noon is a collection of poems spanning four parts and covers topics related to the pandemic, suicide, teaching, bullying, growing up, and survival. Prokott’s poems are grounded in modern everyday life and often use a conversational tone and offer a humorous twist. Prokott’s unique voice blazes through her poems, which vary stylistically from contemporary to hybrid form. 

“I see the book as a reflection of the inner vs. outer selves we experience day by day, hour by hour,” Prokott says. “Each of us goes from trying to understand, existentially, who we are, what our place is, what grief does to us—while at the same time trying to understand the same things from a political perspective. The collection moves between how our personal experience defines us as much as how political culture defines us.”

Jean Prokott has poetry published or forthcoming in Arts & Letters, Angel City Review, Anomaly, and Adirondack Review, among other journals; she is a recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Award, a recipient of the Joan Ramseyer Poetry Award, a finalist for the RHINO Founder’s Prize, and a finalist for the Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize. She has an MFA from Minnesota State University Mankato and a Master of Science in Education.

Augsburg University’s student-run Howling Bird Press issues a nationwide call for submissions on an annual basis. Prior to awarding the 2021 Howling Bird Prize to Prokott, Howling Bird’s editorial board reviewed over 200 manuscripts submitted by writers at all levels of experience, from beginning to well-established poets. Each manuscript was fully read and carefully considered, and the editorial board engaged in extensive discussion about the submissions with Creative Writing faculty members before selecting the winner. Almost Sunset at High Noon was one of six finalists, and the others are:

  • 寂寞 • 先知 (( lonely prophet )),Michael Chang, of Leonia, New Jersey
  • Equus caballus: When the Rider Halters the Horse, Donna J. Gelagotis Lee, of Princeton Junction, New Jersey
  • LETTING GRAVITY SPEAK, Erika Michael, of Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Weathervanes in the Direction of Why, Eva Skrande, of Houston, Texas
  • tips for masturbating discreetly during the revolution {for women!} &other poems, Zoe Canner, of Los Angeles, California

Howling Bird Press publisher Jim Cihlar said, “We had the most submissions ever in our six years of running our contest; they came from writers all over the country. With so much impressive material, it was challenging to narrow down our selection to our finalists, and then choose a winner. We were honored that so many writers entrusted us with their work, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to read and consider it.”

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About Howling Bird Press

Howling Bird Press is a student-run publishing house at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The press launched in 2014 and is part of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Augsburg University: For additional information, please contact Jim Cihlar, publisher, at