• Josh Luckenbach

2022 Book Prize Semi-Finalists

We are pleased to announce the semi-finalists for this year's Iron Horse Book Prize:


  • Allison Field Bell, Bodies of Other Women

  • Jennifer Bullis, Intricate Birds: On Solastalgia, Foot Travel, & Forgetting

  • Timothy DeLizza, lonely beasts

  • Susan Finch, Dear Second Husband

  • Mathew Goldberg, Teshuvah

  • Bernard Grant, All Hours

  • Rachel Hanson, The End of Tennessee

  • Patrick Thomas Henry, Practice for Becoming a Ghost: Stories

  • Michael Mattes, An Instinct for Movement

  • A. Poythress, A Season and a Time

  • Lauren Rhoades, Split the Baby

  • Ellen Rhudy, Escape Velocity

  • Gage Saylor, Where Were You When It Happened?

  • Lana Spendl, Kaput

  • Jeffrey Spivey, The Birthright of Sons

  • Kimm Stammen, In a Country Whose Language I Have Never Mastered


We will announce the finalists around Thanksgiving, and we hope to announce the winner by New Year's.


The winner of the Iron Horse Book Prize will receive $1,000, and their collection will be published by Texas Tech University Press in summer 2023.


Thank you again to everyone who submitted to the prize!


2021 Winner


We are also looking forward to the release of Joe Baumann's Sing With Me at the Edge of Paradise, the winner of last year's inaugural Iron Horse Book Prize. Baumann's collection of stories will be available from Texas Tech University Press in November 2022.

The sixteen stories in this collection surround queer men of various ages—teenagers, young adults, men in middle age—trying to temper their expectations of the world with their lived experience. Using the lens of the bizarre and fantastic, these stories explore discontent, discomfort, and discovery.


In “Melt With You,” a twenty-something learns that his boyfriend can slip into walls, a trick that becomes a sticking point during tumultuous, challenging moments in their relationship; the main character in “Shearing” is a barber who can read the minds of his clients but must sacrifice his own bits of memory to do so; “There Won’t Be Questions” features a young man who can summon lost animals to a shoebox, but suffers for it, both via physical illness and the crumbling of his relationship with his closest friend.


In the title story, the Garden of Eden starts to appear in various places around the world, and the narrator, looking down at the Trees of Life and Knowledge, must make an impossible decision regarding the most important relationship he’s ever had.


Joe Baumann’s fiction and essays have appeared in Phantom Drift, Passages North, Emerson Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Iron Horse Literary Review, Electric Literature, Electric Spec, On Spec, Barrelhouse, Zone 3, and many others. He is the author of Ivory Children, published in 2013 by Red Bird Chapbooks. He possesses a PhD in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and was a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction. His debut novel I Know You’re Out There Somewhere is forthcoming from Deep Hearts YA in late 2022, and his second short story collection, The Plagues—a retelling of the plagues of Egypt in modern-day settings—will be published by Cornerstone Press in early 2023.