About the Award

The winner of the Foothill Editors’ Prize is awarded with $100 and recognition in Foothill as an undeniable force in graduate student verse. Each year, three finalists are selected by the Foothill editorial board. These selections are then passed along to a prominent poet, who makes the final decision. Emily Jungmin Yoon judged the 2021 award.

Publication in Foothill‘s forthcoming issue automatically qualifies poets for consideration.

2022 Foothill Editors’ Prize Winner

Caitie L. Young for “Here Is the Thing about Roses”

Praise for “Here Is the Thing about Roses”:

My choice for the winner is “Here Is the Thing about Roses,” a piercingly insightful, rhetorically complex, discursively rich marvel of a poem that deftly handles the heavy subject matter of gender, sexuality, and faith with critical humor, vulnerability, and verve. As the speaker is made to endure a car ride with the kind of aggressively average blonde man everyone hopes she will eventually end up with, we feel acutely the polarized ends of an endless argument over gender performance, sexuality, and relationships, and the pressure to claim one’s right to their lives. Through the symbolic journey of a road trip and the sharp rendering of interior detail—the speaker navigates their refusal of a normative, red state, megachurch-approved life with the one they have chosen. Written in the style of Hanif Abdurraqib’s discursive metaphysics and and Chen Chen’s intimacy, this is a promising entry in contemporary American poetry, and a poet to watch in the future.

–Vanessa Angélica Villarreal, Judge 

2022 Foothill Editors’ Prize Finalists

Runner Up:
Bobbie Quinn Orona Burgos for “Charybdis”

Honorable Mentions:
Caleigh Shaw for “Preventing Hammertoe”
Cheryl Slover-Linett for “My Mother Gave Me A Vibrator”