Poetry by the Sea Book Awards 2020

It is with happiness and pride that we announce the winners of the 2020 Book Awards. Category 1) (Author may have more than one book) was won by Richard Foerster for Boy on a Doorstep, and Category 2) (Author’s first book) was won by Maya Phillips for Erou. The author of the winning book in each category was awarded a prize of $500.

As we announce the winning books, we do so with gratitude to all the writers who submitted their fine books, and of course, our judge, Matt Miller.

Please join us in congratulating the winners and runners up.

Thank you again to all who helped make the contest’s second year a success despite the challenges of the Coronavirus. May it continue!


FIRST PRIZE: boy on a doorstep by Richard Foerster

Richard Foerster was born in the Bronx, New York, the son of German immigrants, and holds degrees in English literature from Fordham College and the University of Virginia. The author of eight poetry collections, Foerster has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the “Discovery”/The Nation Award, Poetry magazine’s Bess Hokin Prize, a Maine Arts Commission Fellowship, the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, and two National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowships—as well as two Maine Literary Awards for Poetry. Since the 1980s, his work has appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, TriQuarterly, The Gettysburg Review, Boulevard, The Southern Review, and Poetry. He has worked as a lexicographer, educational writer, typesetter, teacher, and editor of the literary magazines Chelsea and Chautauqua Literary Journal. Since 1986, he has lived on the coast of southern Maine.

Runner Up: The Unexploded Ordinance Bin by Rebecca Foust


FIRST PRIZE: erou by maya phillips

Maya Phillips, born and raised in New York, is the author of the debut poetry collection Erou, published by Four Way Books. Her second book, NERD: On Navigating Heroes, Magic, and Fandom in the 21st Century, is forthcoming in summer 2022 from Atria Books. Maya received her MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers and her BFA from Emerson College. Her poetry has appeared in At Length, BOAAT, The Gettysburg Review, Ghost Proposal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Vinyl, and more, and her arts & entertainment journalism has appeared in The New York Times, Vulture, Slate, Mashable, American Theatre, and more. Maya currently works at The New York Times and as a freelance writer. She lives in Brooklyn.

Runner Up: The Last Visit by Chad Abushanab