monster house. by Mia S. Willis is the winner of the fourth annual Toi Derricotte + Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize. Created through a partnership between Cave Canem, The Writer's Room at the Betsy Hotel, and O, Miami Poetry Festival, the prize honors one chapbook manuscript a year by a black poet, regardless of the poet's publication history or career status.
The manuscript was selected by Dawn Lundy Martin.
”Willis’s heroic accomplishment, however, lies not in the articulation of the black queer person’s subjugation, but instead in the looking toward some other way, toward black boyness as spiritual possibility instead of a foreclosed body. To enter these poems is to enter a struggle toward being, yes, but it is also to enter wonder and love and “the exhilaration of the fall.”
Dawn Lundy Martin, 2019
Mia S. Willis is a 23-year-old Black poet and teaching artist from Charlotte, North Carolina. Their work has been featured by or is forthcoming in Curating Alexandria, WORDPEACE, Peculiar, Foothill, Button Poetry, and Slamfind. Mia is a recipient of the 2018 Foothill Editors’ Prize for their poem “hecatomb,” which was also nominated for a Pushcart Prize. They ranked fourth out of 96 femme poets at the 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam, placed fifth out of 150 poets at the 2018 Southern Fried Poetry Slam, and won the 2018 Capturing Fire Slam. Mia was also a member of Tender Bitch, the winning team at the 2018 Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam Tournament. Thus far in 2019, they have been named the Young Artist Fellow for the summer season at Chashama’s ChaNorth residency in Pine Plains, NY, as well as the Tournament Coordinator for the 2019 Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam Tournament, a community-run poetry competition and festival curated for feminine folx in Boston, MA. monster house. is Mia’s debut poetry collection. Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter (@poetinthehat).