2016 Winner and Finalists

Our second Vermont Book Award in 2016 went to South Burlington poet Major Jackson for his poetry collection Roll Deep

Major JacksonMajor Jackson is the author of four collections of poetry: Roll Deep (W.W. Norton: 2015), Holding Company (W.W. Norton: 2010), Hoops (W.W. Norton: 2006), and Leaving Saturn (University of Georgia: 2002), which was awarded the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His work has appeared in such journals as The New Yorker, The New York Book Review, and Poetry. Jackson is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Writer’s Award, among other honors, and is a core faculty member at the Bennington Writing Seminars. He is the Richard A. Dennis Professor at University of Vermont and serves as the Poetry Editor of the Harvard Review.

2016 Vermont Book Award Finalists

  • Castle Freeman Jr., Devil in the Valley, Fiction
  • David Huddle, Dream Sender, Poetry
  • Jo Knowles, Read Between the Lines, Children's and Young Adult literature 
  • Jeffrey Lent, Slant of Light, Fiction
  • Jennifer McMahon, The Night Sister, Fiction
  • Sean Prentiss, Finding Abbey, Creative Nonfiction
  • Julia Shipley, Academy of Hay, Poetry
  • Tamara Ellis Smith, Another Kind of Hurricane, Children's and Young Adult literature 

2016 Panel of Judges

  • Jessica Hendry Nelson
  • Carolyn Kuebler
  • Kekla Magoon
  • An Na
  • Elizabeth Powell
  • Ryan Walsh
  • Mitch Wertlieb


Miciah Bay Gault
Program Director, MFA in Writing & Publishing
Editor, Hunger Mountain

[email protected]

The Vermont Book Award is a new prize created to honor artists with deep connections to the state of Vermont and to draw attention to a state so uniquely suited for creative enterprise.

In keeping with our mission of promoting emerging and established artists, the Vermont Book Award will recognize outstanding poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and children’s literature that is penned by a Vermont writer or by a writer with deep ties to the state of Vermont.