Awards & Honors

Winner of the 2019 Maxine and Joseph Casin Prize for Poetry Thesis 

Judge(s): CWW Poetry Faculty

About Shaina’s thesis Carolyn Hembree says: “Shaina Monet’s poetry resists paraphrase: elision, interrupted syntax, and doubling demonstrate the inadequacy of language to convey the complexity of human experience. Shaina’s inventions in form and language reveal the unique vision of one black woman reclaiming her private and public history in America. Her poetry is unlike anyone’s.”

Winner of the 2018 Iowa Review Award in Poetry

Judge: Elizabeth Willis

Willis writes: “Shaina Monet’s poems bring us to specific occasions of nineteenth- and twentieth-century artmaking with contemporary insight into what these works reveal both by what they show and by what they occlude. These ekphrastic works draw our attention to figures—not just figures of speech but literal bodies—moving in and out of the framed space of painting. Actor, artist, model, poet, and reader—wholly and in fragments—inhabit the implicitly racialized forcefields of weather and color. Rather than explaining, summarizing, or translating other works of art, these poems are with them, in layered representations of the ways art accompanies us, the shape of its afterlife, its blindness and insights, and its formidable power to transport, narrow, or expand the viewer’s field of vision.”

2nd place in the 2018 Andrea Saunders Gereighty/Academy of American Poets Poetry Award

Judge: Allison Joseph

Winner of the 2017 Vassar Miller Poetry Award

Judge: Wang Ping

About the winning poems, “Brain Waves from an Alien’s Radio” and “Psychic Captions,” Ping writes: “Content and form dance in these poems. The author took risks in poetic forms to explore and bridge the inner and outer worlds, and the effort shows: refreshing, lively, and original work.”

2nd Place in the 2017 Andrea Saunders Gereighty/Academy of American Poets Poetry Award

Judge: Alexandra van de Kamp

About Shaina’s submitted work van de Kamp notes: “I admired the risk-taking occuring in all the poems [this poet] submitted […] I liked how they were unafraid to take on difficult matters and how language is made to seem malleable, slippery and unpredictable at times.”

Honorable Mention for the 2016 Vassar Miller Award

Judge: Jeredith Merrin

Merrin comments on Shaina’s submission: “they stayed in my mind because of the confident toughness about them and the narrative pressure in ‘RIP’ and ‘Delta,’ a propulsion largely made up of the hard smacks of internal rhyming as in brake, mistakes, stake (back, flank), wake. Or just something like “cricket’s sticky click.” This is a little poetry-slammy isn’t it? I wonder if she has a larger grouping of work around the event of the accident. I feel that she has ambition.”


Honorable Mention for the 2012 Ryan Chighizola Memorial Award

Judge: N/A