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2019 National Book Awards Longlist for Poetry

The National Book Foundation announced the Longlist for the 2019 National Book Award for Poetry. Finalists will be revealed on October 8.

As was the case in 2018, the majority of the poets on the 2019 Longlist are newcomers to the National Book Awards. The exceptions are Jericho Brown and Arthur Sze, who were Poetry Judges in 2016 and 1999, respectively, and Toi Derricotte, who received the National Book Foundation’s 2016 Literarian Award for her work with Cave Canem. All ten of the books come from independent publishers, and this is the first time publishers Wave Books and Tin House Books have been Longlisted for a National Book Award. The list features poets in all stages of their careers, including one debut.

Publishers submitted a total of 245 books for the 2019 National Book Award for Poetry. The judges for Poetry are Jos Charles, John Evans, Vievee Francis, Cathy Park Hong, and Mark Wunderlich (Chair). These distinguished judges were given the charge of selecting what they deem to be the best books of the year. Their decisions are made independently of the National Book Foundation staff and Board of Directors; deliberations are strictly confidential.

The National Book Award Finalists will be announced on October 8, and the Winners announced at the invitation-only National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on November 20 in New York City.


Dan Beachy-Quick, Variations on Dawn and Dusk
Omnidawn Publishing

Jericho Brown, The Tradition
Copper Canyon Press

Toi Derricotte, “I”: New and Selected Poems
University of Pittsburgh Press

Camonghne Felix, Build Yourself a Boat
Haymarket Books

Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic
Graywolf Press

Ariana Reines, A Sand Book
Tin House Books

Mary Ruefle, Dunce
Wave Books

Carmen Giménez Smith, Be Recorder
Graywolf Press

Arthur Sze, Sight Lines
Copper Canyon Press

Brian Teare, Doomstead Days
Nightboat Books