For over 60 years 92NY’s Discovery Contest has launched the careers of major poets like John Ashbery, Lucille Clifton, Mark Strand, Larry Levis, Mary Jo Bang, Solmaz Sharif and Diana Khoi Nguyen, to name but a few.
The winners of this year’s contest are Lucas Jorgensen, Saba Keramati, Jenna Lanzaro and JJ Peña. They each receive a reading at 92NY, publication in LitHub, a stay at the Ace Hotel in Manhattan and $500.
The runners-ups are Austin Araujo, Ariana Benson, David Gorin and Alison Zheng.
This year’s preliminary judges were Timothy Donnelly and Omotara James. Kaveh Akbar, Tracie Morris and Simone White served as final judges.
This contest is endowed by Joan L. and Dr. Julius H. Jacobson, II.
“The Bureau of Mercy”
Lucas Jorgensen is a poet and educator from Cleveland, Ohio. He holds an MFA from New York University where he was a Goldwater Fellow and is currently a PhD student at the University of North Texas where he is a Voertman-Ardoin fellow. His poems have appeared in venues such as Poetry, The Massachusetts Review, Pleiades, Fugue, Poet Lore and others. Currently, he is working on a manuscript titled The Bureau of Yes, a collection of prose poems in which each poem engages with a Bureau, real or imagined. His website is lucasjorgensen.org.
Saba Keramati is a Chinese-Iranian writer from the California Bay Area. She holds degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing from University of Michigan and UC Davis, where she was a Dean’s Graduate Fellow for Creative Arts. Her work appears or is forthcoming in AGNI, Adroit Journal, The Margins and elsewhere. Her writing has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, Best Small Fictions and Best New Poets. She currently lives just outside of Detroit. Her website is www.sabakeramati.com.
“Ars Poetica as an Epipen to the Eye”
Jenna Lanzaro (she/her) is a teacher and writer based in Jersey City. She received her MFA in Poetry from New York University as a Writers in the Public Schools Fellow. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in Rattle, Small Orange Journal, The Night Heron Barks, Teachers & Writers Magazine and elsewhere. This is her seventh year teaching middle school. She lives with her two cats, Tarzan and Zelda. Her website is www.jennalanzaro.com.
jj peña (he/they) is a queer, burrito-blooded writer living in El Paso, TX. They have won several creative non-fiction flash/hybrid contests, from Fractured Literature, Tinderbox Journal, Santa Clara Review, Mythic Picnic, CutBank and Blue Earth Review. He is a Periplus Fellow, a Woody and Gayle Hunt Fellow for Aspen Summer Words, a Editorial Fellow for Shenandoah Literary and has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. Their work is included in the Best Microfiction 2020 anthology & Wigleaf’s Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions. They serve as a flash fiction reader for SplitLip Magazine. Their website is https://www.jjpena.com/