2022 BLR Literary Prizes

The contest is now closed. Winners will be announced in November.

The BLR Prizes award outstanding writing related to themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body. For each category, first prize is $1000, honorable mention is $250. Winners are published in the spring 2022 issue of BLR.

Goldenberg Prize for Fiction

Buckvar Prize for Nonfiction

John & Eileen Allman Prize for Poetry


Nonfiction Judge: Michele Harper  is the author of the New York Times best-selling book The Beauty in Breaking, which earned a spot on the New York Times “100 Notable Books of 2020” list. She is an emergency room physician who has worked for more than a decade at various institutions, including as chief resident at Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx and in the emergency department at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of Harvard University and the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. @micheleharpermd

Fiction Judge: Amy Hempel is the author of five collections of stories, most recently Sing to It. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a United States Artists Foundation Fellowship, an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Ambassador Award for Fiction, and the Pen/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story.  Her work has been anthologized widely, including The Best American Short Stories and Best Nonrequired Reading. She teaches at the Michener Center in Austin, TX, and at Bennington College. (photo credit: Vicki Topaz)

Poetry Judge: Crystal Valentine, a Bronx native, is a former New York City Youth Poet Laureate, is a Callaloo Fellow, and a two-time winner of the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. She earned a BA from New York University where she also went on to receive an MFA in poetry. Crystal’s work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets, BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic Anthology (Haymarket Books), Winter Tangerine, and elsewhere. She is a coordinator for the Bronx Arts Council and the Wednesday night host at the Nuyorican Poets Café.