Trio House Press
publishing distinct voices in American poetry
since 2011
2020 Louise Bogan Winner and Finalists

The Louise Bogan 2020 Award Winner selected by Sandy Longhorn is Sweet Beast by Gabriella R. Tallmadge. 


Finalists in alphabetical order


Madrigals by Caroline Goodwin

 Before I Was a Girl by Kathleen Hellen


Semi-finalists in alphabetical order

A Thrashing of Phantom Wings by Judith Borenin

The Unlearning by Sigmund Byrd

Choking Down Good Sun by Curtis Crisler

Giving the Hours by Mel Elberger

Ishmael Mask by Charles Kell

Your Body Does the Work of Wings by Molly Kirschner

Dance in the Dirthouse by Patrick Lawler

The Curve of the Earth by Freya Rohn

Everything is Liquid by Sharon White

Thank you so much to everyone who entrusted THP with your manuscripts. 

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“In You Do Not Have to Be Good Madeleine Barnes has crafted a beautiful and luminous book of lyrics out of the grit and gristle of lived experience. This ‘scarred’ yet ‘flowering’ collection is lit from within by the poet's fierce resilience and faith in the redemptive potential of love. Barnes is a poet who attends to the breaking and broken body while never losing sight of the ‘body’s impossible blessings.’ ‘Change is your flint/use it to renew,’ she writes, ‘Say it:/you want to live.’ I am grateful for Barnes’s powerful voice singing clear light into the darkness we inhabit.  Hers is a searing, necessary debut.”

—Deborah Landau

“Madeleine Barnes generously reaches toward painful places that many poets are afraid to touch. Organizing her her book around a sequence of absolving principles, she enacts a forgiveness journey, without false consolation; instead, she speaks in praise of tenacious embroidery, steadfast retrieval, destinationless self-assemblage, and a pleasing neutrality, as if she were looking at disaster, or at daily life, through a scrim that gave some of the sad information but kept the viewer safely unseen. The book, an artfully composed act of ambiguous witness, addresses a ‘you’—a compassionate reader who will feel, as I do, grateful to Barnes for her high level of craft, wisdom, and emotional resourcefulness.”

—Wayne Koestenbaum, author of Camp Marmalade

“A wonderfully idiosyncratic logic animates Madeleine Barnes's debut collection, You Do Not Have To Be Good: half spirit, half inner speech. The poems take shape in the space between the dystopia of a real world and the utopia of a world the speaker longs for and valiantly wills into being: ‘I wish the sirens were remnants of churchbells, cymbals, second-hand static,’ she says. Caritas and death confront each other in ‘the sting of how easily we are forgotten.’ Through the poem ‘Vulnerary,’ I learned that a ‘vulnerary’ is something used to heal a wound, a definition that also applies to this powerful new voice.”

—Catherine Barnett