CAAPP Book Prize

Founded in 2020, the CAAPP Book Prize is a publishing partnership between the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for African American Poetry and Poetics and Autumn House Press with the goal of publishing and promoting a writer of African descent. The prize is awarded annually to a first or second book by a writer of African descent and is open to the full range of writers embodying African and African diasporic experiences. The book can be of any genre that is, or intersects with, poetry, including poetry, hybrid work, speculative prose, and/or translation. The winning manuscript will be published by Autumn House Press and its author will be awarded $3,000.

We are pleased to announce our 2023 Winner: Okwudili Nebeolisa for Terminal Maladies, selected by Nicole Sealey.

Okwudili's winning manuscript will be published by Autumn House Press in 2024.

Okwudili Nebeolisa is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop where he was a Provost Fellow and won the Prairie Lights John Leggetts Prize for Fiction. For his poetry, he has received support from the Elizabeth George Foundation and the Granum Foundation. His poems have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, The Cincinnati Review, Image, Salamander Magazine, The Sewanee Review, Strange Horizons, The Threepenny Review, and are forthcoming in Transition and Cutleaf, while his nonfiction has appeared in Catapult and Commonwealth Writers. He will begin an MFA in fiction at the University of Minnesota this fall.

2023 CAAPP Book Prize Finalists:

Torli Bush..........American Psalms

Bryan Byrdlong..........Strange Flowers 

Delicia Daniels..........Abolition Chronicles 

Diamond Forde..........The Book of Alice 

Isra Hassan..........OPAQUE

Michal 'MJ' Jones.......... BLUFF

Mubanga Kalimamukwento..........Another Mother Does Not Come When Yours Dies

JR Mahung..........Exodus; Expansion

Dani Janae..........Express Desire

Layla Benitez-James..........The Lush Alphabet

Jasmine Reid..........Interlocutor Goddess


We are pleased to announce that the judge of the 2023 CAAPP Book prize will be Nicole Sealey.

Born in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and raised in Apopka, Florida, Nicole Sealey is the author of Ordinary Beast, finalist for the PEN Open Book and Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards, The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize, and the forthcoming The Ferguson Report: An Erasure, for which an excerpt from the collection was awarded the 2021 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. Her honors include the 2021 Granum Foundation Prize, a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize and the Poetry International Prize, as well as fellowships from the Bogliasco Foundation, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, CantoMundo, Cave Canem, The Hermitage Artist Retreat, the Jerome Foundation, MacDowell, the National Endowment and New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Poetry Project. Her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2018 and 2021. She is a visiting professor at Boston University and teaches in the MFA Writers Workshop in Paris program at New York University.

Submit to the CAAPP Book Prize through Submittable

We are pleased to announce our 2022 Winner: Richard Hamilton for Discordant, selected by Evie Shockley.

Richard’s winning manuscript will be published by Autumn House Press in 2023.