Ninth Letter 2022 Literary Awards

Jodie Noel Vinson (creative nonfiction) – “Self Portrait After COVID-19: A Triptych­”

Rose Zinnia (poetry) – “Constituting Mayhem (Derealized in the CVS),” “Look (Nonbinary),” “God WiFi Earth Ong (Nonbinary),” “Ancient Wind, Empty Skyscraper, Golden Bear (Nonbinary)”

Carly Rae Zent (fiction) – “The Girl Boss”

Creative Nonfiction

Sean Rose – “Baseball, Boys, and Time”

Jennie Evenson – “Cherry, Lemon, Seven”

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Hussain Ahmed – “North”

Abbie Kiefer – “What I Know” and “Trading in at Ray Diamond Ford”

Adam Grabowski – “Life Model”

Brian Czyzyk – “Dating Paul Bunyan”

Katherine Indermaur – “Don’t Tell Anyone You Read This Poem”

Megan Kim – “Anti-Dirge”

David Wright – “Taking Out the Recycling” and “Masked Litany 4: Today, I Wear My Kafka Mask”

John Paul Martinez – “Dear Forgiveness, You Know that Recently We Have Had Our Difficulties and There Are Many Things I Want to Ask You”

Holli Carrell – “First Sex”

Kristina Martino – “Surveillance”

Jane Morton – “Self Portrait in the Mirror”

Dennis Hinrichsen – “[Despair in Open D] [With Gerard Manley Hopkins on Tom-toms] [And a Dead Flamingo]” and “[My Pornographic Regime] [Take #17] [With Elvis Presley and the Wild Boars of Fukushima]”

Saddiq Dzukogi – “Concrete Jungle”

Mary Crockett Hill – “Past Life”

Alicia Mountain – “I Start to Ask God to Strike Down the Small Dog Barking at 6 a.m.”

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Special Feature: BRAZEN

Phillip Watts Brown – “Double Exposure: Aubade,” “Double Exposure: Gemini,” and “Double Exposure: Leaving Madrid”

Brent Ameneyro – “Tectonics [never the gold pillars],” “Tectonics [pan dulce],” and “Tectonics [to mexico city]

Laura Grothaus – “Memory”

Kate O’Donoghue – “Anxiety and Influence”

Courtney Faye Taylor – “Perfect Finish,” and “Triple Threat”


Gauraa Shekhar – “The Brief Friendships of Common Girls: A Methodology”

Lindsey Godfrey Eccles – “How to Tell the Sex of an Octopus”

Jamie Redgate – “Only Know”

Griffin Carpenter – “My Misstep”

Rick Andrews – “Couples Therapy”

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Special Feature: Regeneration Contest

Stephanie Anderson (essay) – “Disturbance”

Editor: Jodee Stanley

Creative Nonfiction Editor: Christopher Kempf

Poetry Editor: Ángel García

Assistant Editors: Madeline Furlong, Liz Harms, Weston Morrow

Editorial Assistants: Amanda Bales, Claire Christoff, Chelsea Hill, Michael Hurley, Drew Jennings, Carrie Johnson, Deon Robinson, Nina Sannes, Andrea Sielicki, Zach Simon, Eric Schumacher, Isaac Willis, Chris Vanjonack

Editor-at-Large: Philip Graham

Advisory Board: Amy Sayre Baptista, Traci Brimhall, James Brunton, Lindsey Drager, Matthew Minicucci, Marcus Wicker

Graphic design by Liz Harms

Ninth Letter is published semi-annually in May and December by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Copies are available for $14.95. A one-year subscription may be purchased for $21.95; a two-year subscription may be purchased for $37.95. Subscriptions and single-copy orders may be sent with check or credit card information to Ninth Letter, Dept. of English, University of Illinois, 608 S. Wright St., Urbana, Illinois, 61801. Credit card orders may also be placed via our secure web site at

Ninth Letter accepts submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction from September 1 to February 28 (postmark dates). For complete guidelines and to submit online, visit our print submissions guidelines page at

Support at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Creative Writing Program
Department of English
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Individual Sponsors


Delysa Burnier
Alma Gottlieb & Philip Graham
John Hall, M.D. & Sarah Knox, M.D.

Rev. Charles Matz

Information about supporting Ninth Letter can be found at; all donations and gifts to Ninth Letter are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Special thanks to our guest judges for the 2022 Literary Awards: Anthony Cody, Isle McElroy, Emily Pittinos