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the ihlr chapbook



For the 2016 Chapbook Competition, we will select a winning collection of 28 to 36 pages of poetry, each poem starting on a new page. The winner manuscript will be published in the Fall of 2016 as a separate issue (Volume 18.5). Full-color cover art will reflect the collection’s content and emphasize its title, not the name of Iron Horse. The published collection will look like the single-author book that it is. The winner also receives a $1,000 honorarium and 15 copies.


rebecca gayle howell  2016 Judge


This year’s judge is Rebecca Gayle Howell. Howell is the author of Render /An Apocalypse (CSU, 2013), which was selected by Nick Flynn for the Cleveland State University First Book Prize and was a 2014 finalist for ForeWord Review's Book of the Year. She is also the translator of Amal al-Jubouri's Hagar Before the Occupation/ Hagar After the Occupation (Alice James Books, 2011), which was named a 2011 Best Book of Poetry by Library Journal and shortlisted for Three Percent's 2012 Best Translated Book Award. Among her awards are fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the Carson McCullers Center, as well as a 2014 Pushcart Prize. Native to Kentucky, Howell is the Poetry Editor at Oxford American.


Check our her cinepoem, "How to Kill a Hog," published in IHLR 17.4.

Photo Credit: Nadezda Nikolova



Entries must be between 28 and 36 manuscript pages, with each poem starting on a new page. • Manuscripts must be typed, with one-inch margins, 12-point font. • While individual portions of the chapbook may have been published elsewhere, the chapbook as a whole must be previously unpublished. • The author’s name and contact information must appear on the Submittable form, but it must NOT appear anywhere on the manuscript. No footers or headers containing the author's identity. No bio page. No acknowledgments page. • Pages must be numbered. • Entries must include the $18 reading fee, which also purchases a one-year subscription to Iron Horse. • Entries must include an email address for results notification. • Enter online here. Electronic manuscripts must be submitted as ONE pdf file, with the entire chapbook in that single file. Do NOT submit poems in individual files. •  Submissions will be accepted between February 1 and March 31.

Temporary Empathy by Kathleen Balma

In the Temple of Shining Mercy by Robin Carstensen
In America by Diana Goetsch

Birding in Wolfville by Stevie Howell

Night Shift at the Circle K by Jacob Little

Pentimento by Alysse McCanna
Glass Uterus by Jane Miller
Power Plays by Jessica Morey-Collins
Badlands by Clare Paniccia
Recoil Bruises by Rodney Wilhite



2016 finalists (winner tba)

previous judges

previous winners

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