Shira Dentz Named Winner of Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize at Utica College

Shira Dentz, poet, educator, and winner of the 2021 Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize.

The Nassar Poetry Prize is awarded to one upstate New York poet for their published collection of works.

The winner of this year’s Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize at Utica College is Shira Dentz, with her book, “Sisyphusina.”

Sisyphusina is a collection of poetry, visual art and improvisatory music that focuses on the concept of female aging. The book crosses many genres in its attempt to create new language to share the process of a changing identity. The book also touches on conventional beauty and embracing a new aesthetic.

An upstate New York poet and educator, Dentz has written five books, two chapbooks, and had her work featured on multiple platforms including Poetry, American Poetry Review,Cincinnati Review, Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, New American Writing, jubilat, Lana Turner, Plume, Brooklyn Rail, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day Series (Poets.org), Verse Daily, Poetry Daily and NPR. Interviews with her about her writing appear in journals such as Rain Taxi, Ploughshares, Waxwing, The Rumpus and Kenyon Review.

The Nassar Poetry Prize is awarded to one upstate New York poet for their published collection of works. The poems must be written in English, and the book must be at least 48 pages long in order to qualify for the $2,000 prize. The winner will also do a reading at Utica College, as well as meet with students in a master class. All entries to the competition, if not selected, are donated to the Utica College Library and Utica Public Library.

The annual contest is named in memory of Eugene Paul Nassar, professor emeritus of English at Utica College, who passed away in April of 2017 at the age of 81.

This year's ceremony will be held virtually, via Zoom, on Thursday, April 15 at 7 p.m. Event registration can be completed ahead of time at: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUtc-6uqz8pEtbBlKg-g2KxVRI_ckdl2DZT

To learn more about the Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize, visit https://www.utica.edu/academic/as/english/nassar//index.cfm.

To learn more about this year's winner or purchase the book, visit http://www.shiradentz.com/.

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