The editors of Asheville Poetry Review are pleased to announce the William Matthews Poetry Prize Recipients for 2020.

The 2020 William Matthews Poetry Prize Winners, selected by Ilya Kaminsky


Denver Butson, from Brooklyn, NY, was awarded first prize for his poem, “Study Guide,” and will receive $1000, plus publication in Asheville Poetry Review (Vol. 26-27, Issue 30, 2020), which will be released in December, 2020.

Second prize is awarded to Melanie Tafejian, from Raleigh, NC, for her poem, “On Occupation.” She will receive $250 as well as publication.

Mark Kyungsoo Bias is from Daegu, Korea, and now resides in Sunderland, MA. He was the third prize recipient for his poem “How God Breaks,” and he will also be published in our next issue.

The next reading period for the William Matthews Poetry Prize is from September 15, 2020 – January 15, 2021. The final judge will be Quincy Troupe. For the guidelines and more, visit ashevillepoetryreview.submittable.com.


Denver Butson collaborates with musicians, visual artists, inventors, and performing artists and makes his own collages and video poems using found photos with lines from his poems — in an effort to find different ways to get poetry off the page and reach more people. He has published four books of “solo” poetry and two books with visual artists, has shown his work in galleries in New York and Italy, and has been regularly featured on National Public Radio. His poems are in such journals as The Yale Review, Ontario Review, Field, Zyzzyva, Tin House, Caliban, Nuovi Argomenti, and Willow Springs, and in anthologies edited by Billy Collins, Garrison Keillor, and Agha Shahid Ali. In September 2020, Collected Ghazals by Jim Harrison (Copper Canyon Press) will feature his afterword. He has been mostly content to be isolated in Brooklyn, New York, with his actor and climate justice activist/educator wife and their brilliant, singing teenage daughter.

Originally from Olympia, WA, Melanie Tafejian holds an MFA in Poetry from North Carolina State University where she won the 2020 North Carolina State Poetry Contest. Over the years she has worked as a university instructor of academic writing, an oyster shucker, a fresh juice presser, a farmhand, and a fryer of falafel. From 2016 – 2018 Melanie served as a health educator with the Peace Corps in Albania. She was a finalist for the 2019 Cutthroat Magazine Joy Harjo Poetry Award and has poetry forthcoming in Raleigh Review.

Mark Kyungsoo Bias is a poet from Daegu, South Korea. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in IDK Magazine, PANK, Silver Needle Press, and elsewhere. His work was selected for publication by The Saejowi Initiative for National Integration which seeks to provide aid to North Korean refugees. He was a middle school teacher in Harlem and received his MA in Literature from The College of New Jersey. He is currently an MFA candidate at UMass Amherst where he teaches composition and creative writing at the Juniper Institute for Young Writers.

The 2021 William Matthews Poetry Prize

First Prize: $1,000, publication in Asheville Poetry Review, and a featured reading in Asheville
Second Prize: $250, publication, and a featured reading in Asheville
Third Prize: Publication and a featured reading in Asheville

Judge for 2021: Quincy Troupe

The final judge will read anonymous manuscripts (all identifying information will be removed from the poems).

All submissions will be considered for publication.

Submission Deadline: January 15 of each year.

Send 1-3 poems, any style, any theme, any length, with a $20 entry fee.

Online submissions only, through Submittable:


Back issue content recently added

The Asheville Poetry Review website is in the process of an all-inclusive update. Our mission is to make all of the content of our back issues available online, creating an archive that contains the complete publishing history of our first fifteen years, dating from our first issue, published in June 1994. We thank you for your patience as we update this site.

Below you’ll find links to the most recently added poetry, reviews, essays and interviews.

John Wood  •  from November 20, 2010

The Angels of Our Expectations

John Wood  •  from November 20, 2010

The Fiction of History

John Wood  •  from November 20, 2010

Double Elegy: for a Child, for an Old Man

Dede Wilson  •  from November 20, 2010

Morning Of The Duel

Dede Wilson  •  from November 20, 2010


Daniel Westover  •  from November 20, 2010

Of Flesh and Heaven

Charles Harper Webb  •  from November 20, 2010

Never Too Late

Simon Perchik  •  from December 4, 2010


Virgil  •  from November 19, 2010

For Camilla Wren McDaniel

— translated from the Latin by A. E. Stallings

Rafael Soto Verges  •  from November 19, 2010


— translated from the Spanish by Louis Bourne