Announcing The Florida Review’s New Editor

We are pleased to announce The Florida Review‘s new Editor!

David James Poissant is the author of the novel Lake Life, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and the story collection The Heaven of Animals, a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize. He is the former Co-Editor of Sonora Review & the former Fiction Editor of The Chattahoochee Review.

We’re excited to see how Jamie continues to grow and redefine the journal, which has remained a literary biannual in regular print publication since its inaugural issue in 1972.



Announcing the 2022 Humboldt Prize Winner & Runners-Up

The Florida Review is pleased to announce the winner and runners-up for the third annual Humboldt Poetry Prize. The Prize, which is funded by an anonymous donor in honor of Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), recognizes the best poems with an environmental focus published in the previous year in The Florida Review and on Aquifer: The Florida Review Online. The winner receives an award of $500, and each runner-up $250.

Alexander von Humboldt as painted by Friedrich Georg Weitsch, c. 1860.

This year’s winner and runners-up are:

  • Winner: Zoë Fay-Stindt for “Fall in Languedoc” (Aquifer: The Florida Review Online, March 2022)
  • Runner-Up: Madelyn Garner for “Call and Response” (TFR 46.2, Fall 2022)
  • Runner-Up: Cole W. Williams for “Sunset” (TFR 46.2, Fall 2022)
  • Honorable Mention: Zoë Fay-Stindt for “A Robin at the Bus Station” (Aquifer: The Florida Review Online, March 2022)

The winner and honorable mention will be reprinted in The Florida Review 47.1, Spring/Summer 2023; both runners-up will be republished on Aquifer: The Florida Review online this spring. David Keplinger served as the final judge for this year’s Prize. (more…)


Welcoming Our New Poetry and Fiction Editors!

We are thrilled to welcome to our new Poetry and Fiction Editors! Read more about them and their work below.

Rochelle Hurt (Poetry Editor) is a poet and essayist. She is the author of three poetry collections: The J Girls: A Reality Show (Indiana University Press, 2022), which won the Blue Light Books Prize from Indiana Review; In Which I Play the Runaway (Barrow Street, 2016), which won the Barrow Street Poetry Prize; and The Rusted City: A Novel in Poems (White Pine, 2014). Her work has been included in Poetry magazine and the Best New Poets anthology. She’s been awarded prizes and fellowships from Arts & Letters, Poetry International, Vermont Studio Center, and Yaddo. Originally from the Ohio Rust Belt, Hurt now lives in Orlando and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Central Florida.

Brandon Amico (Poetry Editor) is the author of a collection of poetry, Disappearing, Inc (Gold Wake Press, 2019), and the recipient of a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. His poetry can be found in journals and anthologies including The Best American Poetry 2020, The Adroit Journal, Blackbird, Booth, Copper Nickel, The Cincinnati Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Hunger Mountain, Kenyon Review, New Ohio Review, New South, Slice, and Waxwing.

Blake Sanz (Fiction Editor) is the author of The Boundaries of Their Dwelling, a collection of short stories that won the 2021 Iowa Short Fiction Award. His short fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, Joyland, EcotonePuerto del Sol, and other literary magazines. He and his writing have been featured in Poets & Writers, Electric Literature, and other national forums. Originally from Louisiana, he teaches fiction at the University of Central Florida.

Submissions to our 2023 Editor’s Prizes in Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction are now open! The winner in each genre will receive $1,000 and publication in the Review. All entries are considered for publication, and all entrants receive a complimentary one-year subscription to the journal, as well as the option to purchase an additional discounted subscription. We thank you for your support of The Florida Review, and look forward to reading your work.


2022 Pushcart Prize Nominees!

Congratulations to our nominees for the annual Pushcart Prize! Our editors are proud to nominate the below poems, short stories, and essay for Pushcart Prize XLVIII:


Lee Ann Roripaugh, “To My Cancer, Excised by Da Vinci Robot: Kaze no Denwa”
Teo Shannon, “Trajectory”


Mary Kate McGrath, “Gorgeous Vibrations”
Ellen Rhudy, “Dawn of the New Age”
Austyn Wohlers, “The Archivist”


Julie Marie Wade, “Story Problems”

Best of luck to these talented writers. Purchase a copy of The Florida Review, or subscribe, to read their fine work!



Announcing the Winners of Our 2022 Editor’s Prizes

We’re pleased to announce the winners, runners-up, and finalists of our 2022 Editor’s Prizes in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. All winners receive $1,000 and publication in The Florida Review 47.1, Spring 2023.


Winner: Will Berry, for “Buck Velvet”

Runner-up: ”The Point of Indifference” by Matthew Haynes

Finalists: “A Moment of Violence” by David DeGusta & “Saltation and Snow” by Curtis VanDonkelaar


Winner: Bridget Lyons, for “Rippling Lines”

Runner-Up: “It Takes Pain to Be Beautiful” by Maureen Stanton

Finalist: “Learning to Grieve the Living” by Michelle Polizzi


Winner: Jacqueline Schaalje, for “Orca on the Beach (Sijos)”

Runners-up: “Nearing 60” and “My Neighbor’s Blue Jeans” by Tania Rochelle & “On Ice,” “Bedtime Story with Eagle and Sun,” and “Snow Machines” by Bret Shepard

Congratulations to these fine writers, and thank you to all who entered—this year saw many impressive submissions in all categories, and we look forward to publishing several additional entries in upcoming issues of the journal. Next year’s Editor’s Prizes will open for submissions on January 1, 2023. We look forward to reading more incredible work!


Melanie Bishop Wins the 2022 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award

The Florida Review is pleased to announce the winner of the 2021-2022 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award: Melanie Bishop, for Home for Wayward Girls.

Bishop’s chapbook will be released in Spring 2023. The contest was judged by Jill Talbot, whose chapbook A Distant Town: Stories was last year’s winner and is available for sale.

Talbot had this to say about the prize-winning entry:

It’s after Noreen leaves that my father starts calling our house The Home for Wayward Girls, and we start collecting girls with problems. It’s New Orleans, 1970, and thirteen-year-old Amelia Snyder keeps the secrets of the wayward girls around her and an eye on her father’s drinking. In this beautiful, at times heartbreaking fiction, a family opens their home, already brimming with four daughters and a son, to a girl on the run and a girl in a bad marriage. The young, wise narrator learns about life from the older girls around her—girls who want, but don’t get what they’re after, girls who don’t realize what they deserve. A captivating, tender story that shows how some people rush into our lives as quickly as they rush out, leaving us to wait for the next thing to happen.”

Melanie Bishop is Faculty Emeritus at Prescott College in Arizona, where for 22 years she taught creative writing, and was Founding Editor, and Fiction/Nonfiction Editor of Alligator Juniper, a national literary magazine, three-time winner of the AWP Directors’ Prize. Her young adult novel, My So-Called Ruined Life (2014) was a top-five finalist for both the John Gardner Award in Fiction and CLMP’s Firecracker Awards. Bishop has published fiction and nonfiction in The New York Times, Glimmer Train, Georgetown Review, Greensboro Review, Florida Review, Vela, Essay Daily, Next Avenue, Carmel Magazine, Huffington Post, New York Journal of Books, and Family Circle. Currently, Bishop teaches occasional classes for Stanford Continuing Studies, and offers instruction, guidance and editing through her business, Lexi Services. “Home for Wayward Girls” is the title story of her short story cycle. For more, visit:

Thank you to the many writers who submitted their strong work for consideration. The full list of finalists is below, and the 2022-2023 contest is now open!


David Preizler, Racetrackers


Jenna Abrams, Mama Shark

Laura Biagi, The Fair Day

Michael Colbert, Sea Monsters

Sharon Hashimoto, Containment and Other Stories

DS Levy, American Fare

David Schwartz, Sleight

Joan Sidney, I Married a Mathematician

Julie Marie Wade and Denise Duhamel, 50 States



2022 Best of the Net Nominees

We are pleased to share our nominees for this year’s Best of the Net anthology. Over the past year, we have published many excellent stories, poems, and essays on Aquifer: The Florida Review Online, from writers emerging and established alike. Click the links below to read each work. We wish our 2022 nominees the best!


Prayer with Burning Barn” by Amorak Huey

Elegy for Recording the Light” by Erin Slaughter

If Death Is Another Dimension” by Aruni Kashyap

Grief is a Sudden Room” by Margaret Ray

A Patient’s Family Asks What Do I Know” by Eric Tran

Analog” by Yasmina Martin


The Lunch Party” by Jemimah Wei

Fugues” by Ruth Joffre


Somewhat Involved” by Will Howard

Mother Tongue” by Pragya Agarwal



Announcing the 2020-2021 Humboldt Poetry Prize Winner & Finalists

The Florida Review is pleased to announce the winner and runners-up for the second annual Humboldt Poetry Prize. The Prize, which is funded by an anonymous donor in honor of Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), recognizes the best poems with an environmental focus published in the previous year in The Florida Review and Aquifer: The Florida Review Online. The winner receives an award of $500, and each runner-up $250.

Alexander von Humboldt as painted by Friedrich Georg Weitsch, c. 1860.

This year’s winner and finalists are:

  • Lizzie Hutton for “Holiday 2,” winner (TFR 44.2, Fall 2020)
  • Margot Douaihy for “The Murder Hornet,” runner-up (Aquifer 7 December 2020)
  • Kimberly Quiogue Andrews for “Animal Spirits,” runner-up (Aquifer 23 November 2020)

The winning poem will be reprinted in Aquifer in April of this year; the runners-up will be reprinted in The Florida Review’s Spring 2022 Issue.

This year’s judge was David Keplinger, author of six collections of poetry; winner of Rilke, T. S. Eliot, Cavafy prizes; the Colorado Book and Emily Dickinson awards; recipient of two NEA fellowships; and Professor of English at American University. He had this to say about the winners and runners-up:

Lizzie Hutton’s “Holiday 2” tells a story both inviting and threatening, of a Christmas on the Gulf of Mexico, somewhere in the “cushioned here and now, these privileged / boundaries.” While this world along the shoreline was lavished with gifts and light and merriment, somewhere else a violence was playing out—which moves the speaker to question, with Darwin, the use of poetry. In the end the thing itself, the poem we have of it, affirms something remarkably poignant about knowing things could be otherwise; how the sun and the holiday, for this knowing, assume a more tenuous fragility in the heart.

In Margot Douaihy’s “The Murder Hornet,” the “efficient killer,” the murder hornet, is compared to the enormity of the speaker’s heart. “Size has its advantages,” the poet writes, but the metaphor deepens, and the poem beautifully complicates, as the pull of addiction is soon revealed to be devouring the speaker, rather than any prey. What is stunning here is the moment “the robin / thought I was a chair or tree,” when, in such a state of peace, the heart of devouring disappears, or it expands and expanding becomes a part of everything.

I admire so much the voice of Kimberly Quiogue Andrews’ “Animal Spirits,” which puts me in mind of certain lines of George Oppen I love—I think of “Route”— and the way, reflecting on the old idea that the brain is the seat of the soul, the poet writes, “The brain a bull. The world a bull with its hooves on the world. // O beast that could be gentle. Asleep in the beige autumn of the shaken head.…” What arises in this poem is simultaneously a sparkling intelligence and a sense of history and responsibility, an awareness of the “grinding sludge of machinery” that follows optimism and enterprise in capitalist societies.

Congratulations to the winner and finalists! More info about the prize and its namesake are below.

The Humboldt Poetry Prize

Each year, one winner and two runners-up will be chosen from work published in The Florida Review and Aquifer: The Florida Review Online during the previous calendar year. Candidates will be identified from all categories of works published—those that stem from general and contest submissions, as well as from solicited work that we have published.

Criteria set for the prize include:

  • Probing the capabilities and needs of wild animals and challenging their exploitation;
  • Exploring wild animal/human relationships;
  • Experimenting with and imagining the subjective life of wild animals;
  • Interrogating the poetic use of animals simply as metaphors;
  • Investigating natural processes, biospheres, and their complexity; and/or
  • Pondering awe in the face of nature and/or how to inspire such awe.

Each winner will receive an award of $500; each runner-up an award of $250. In addition, with each poet’s permission (or that of any subsequent book publisher), the poem will be reprinted. Works originally published in Aquifer will be reprinted in the print Florida Review, and vice versa.

Alexander von Humboldt 

The new prize commemorates the legacy of the visionary German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859). Humboldt’s fascination with natural processes started in childhood, when he earned the nickname “the little apothecary” and continued throughout a fifty-year career as a famous public figure, in which he investigated the fields of botany, minerology, geology, isothermal mapping, meteorology, and geodetic and geomagnetic measurement. During the Napoleonic Wars, he set off to explore Central and South America and, with a French botanist, covered 6,000 miles by foot, horseback, and canoe, studying astronomy, topography, flora and fauna, and the Earth’s geomagnetic field and barometric pressure, as well as mapping 1,700 miles of the Orinoco River. They measured the river phenomenon now known as the Humboldt (or Peru) Current.

Humboldt also succeeded in marrying science and aesthetics, promoting the belief that every element of nature is dynamic and interconnected, and that these forces should be apprehended with both head and heart. In thirty volumes published during his lifetime—and filled with detailed illustrations and lyrical descriptions—Humboldt taught that nature, properly understood, stimulates the imagination as well as the intellect and is a source of beauty and consolation. His close friend Goethe noted that “with an aesthetic breeze” Humboldt lit science in a “bright flame.”

As the first scientist to identify climate zones and view the Earth’s ecology as interconnected and ever-changing, Humboldt anticipated the deleterious impact on wildlife and the biosphere, and he frequently decried the careless environmental destruction of Europe in the colonies. Even as his fame and wealth diminished later in life, Humboldt assisted many young scientists in embarking on their careers. References to his ideas appear hundreds of times in Charles Darwin’s writings, and he profoundly influenced John Muir and generations of conservationists and nature writers.

We at The Florida Review hope to continue to encourage those writers concerned with the human relationship with our planet and with the beauty and power inherent in the Earth in the tradition of the writing of Alexander von Humboldt.



2022 Editors’ Prizes Open for Submission!

The 2022 Editors’ Prizes are now open for submission! The Florida Review accepts, each year between January 1 and April 16, submissions to our three Editors’ Awards contests in Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction.

Each winner receives publication in the journal and $1,000 (upon publication). All entries are considered for publication. The entry fee includes a 1-year subscription to The Florida Review. 

You can find further guidelines and submit your work on our Submittable page.

We’re thrilled to be featuring the 2021 winners and finalists in our upcoming Spring Issue!




“The Archivist,” Austyn Wohlers


“Gifted & Talented,” Clancy Tripp

“Marthe, Once Maria: A Story of Murder,” Ann Harleman



“Good Lands of Mercy,” Lee Gallaway-Mitchell


“Hero Dreams,” Yiming Ma



“Your Bitter Girl,” Morgan English


“Daguerreotype (n.),” John Sibley Williams

“Days of 1985” & “A Boy’s Own Heaven,” David Groff



2021 Pushcart Prize Nominees!

Congratulations to The Florida Review’s nominees for the annual Pushcart Prize!

The Florida Review

Darius Atefat-Peckham, “I Learn a Language I’m Too Afraid to Speak”

Victoria Maria Castells, “Boy Bands”

Jay Hopler, “love & the memory of it”

Katerina Ivanov Prado, “To Be Good”

Arien Reed, “The Ballad of a Married Trans Man”

MH Rowe, “Vampire Swim”

Aquifer: The Florida Review Online 

Jinwoo Chong, “Fish Run”

Ruth Joffre, “Fugues”

Peter Kispert, “The Second Story”

Khalisa Rae, “Full Moon to Monday”

Hannah Stephenson, “Stanley’s Bowl”

Tobey Ward, “Mother Pass”