25th Anniversary Chapbook Contest Event with 2021 Winner Bianca Rae Messinger

Bianca Rae Messinger (2021)
Duji Tahat (2021)
Benjamin Aleshire (2021)
Alva Mooses (2020)
Portrait of a man smiling at the camera, wearing a grey t-shirt with his arms crossed in front of him, and a brick wall with a printed poster behind him.
Oswaldo Garcia, 2020
Simone White stares back at you with an air of calm
Simone White (2019)

Event Info

This program takes place on Thursday, December 9 from 6–8pm ET on Zoom.

About the Reading & Print Launch

Join us on Zoom for a poetry reading and publications launch celebrating our 2021 Chapbook Competition winner, Bianca Rae Messinger, and runners-up,  Dujie TahatBenjamin Aleshire, moderated by the competition’s  2021 Guest Judge, Simone White!

This event marks the 25th Anniversary of the Chapbook Competition at Center for Book Arts.

We will also hear from the CBA artists who designed, printed, and assembled this year’s publications: 2021 Book Artists-in-Residence, Alva Mooses & Oswaldo Garcia; Instructor, Yuchen Chang; and Administrative Assistant, Allison Carter-Beaulé.

Of Messinger’s winning manuscript Parallel Bars, White says, “This group of poems changes on each page, apparently enacting what it says, ‘feeling what it’s like to feel things over a continuum instead of a sharp peak and valley.’ It’s not that this sentiment is so much a breakthrough (this statement is not unlike William James’ about ‘feelings of and,’ to take one example of how the century has dealt with writing feelings)—it’s the invention of an explosive, wry diagrammatic specific talking that makes the group of poems so great and makes them stand independent, wanting their own small book.”

About the Chapbook Competition

CBA’s annual Chapbook Competition is an open call for manuscripts that are reviewed by a guest judge who selects one winner and two runners-up. As part of the awards package, CBA publishes the winner’s manuscript as a limited edition chapbook as well as a limited-edition broadside for each runner-up featuring one poem from their respective manuscripts.

The application to the 2022 Chapbook Competition is now open, with the deadline fast approaching on December 31, 2021.

Apply Now


Support for this event was provided in part by the New York State Council on the Arts in partnership with City Council, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and Poets & Writers.


You can sign-up to attend this event for free, though we ask that you please consider making a donation of at least $5 in support of CBA’s programming. You can also register to attend the reading directly on Zoom.

Pre-order your copy of Messinger’s Parallel Bars for a 20% discount! You can also purchase either of the runners-up’s broadsides, or purchase White’s chapbook Open Letter, or purchase all of the above!


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