Announcing our TQ32 Contest Judges


Meet our TQ32 Poetry Open Prize Judge

Oliver de la Paz is the Poet Laureate of Worcester, MA for 2023-2025. He is the author and editor of seven books: Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, Requiem for the Orchard, Post Subject: A Fable, and The Boy in the Labyrinth, a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award in Poetry. His newest work, The Diaspora Sonnets, published by Liveright Press in 2023, is long listed for the National Book Award and is the winner of the 2023 New England Book Award. With Stacey Lynn Brown he co-edited A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry. A founding member, Oliver serves as the co-chair of the Kundiman advisory board and on the board for Poetry Daily.

A recipient of grants and awards from the NEA, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Artist Trust, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, his work has appeared in journals like Virginia Quarterly Review, North American Review, Tin House, Poetry, and in anthologies and periodicals such as Asian American Poetry:  The Next Generation and in the New York Times. He teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the Low-Residency MFA Program at Pacific Lutheran University. 

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Meet our TQ32 Prose Prose Open Prize Judge

Poet and memoirist Nick Flynn was born in Scituate, Massachusetts. His debut poetry collection, Some Ether (2000), won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, for which the judges’ statement read: “These poems establish their emotional authority through their very movement—their wayward, whispering music. At once reckless and demure, outrageous and delicate. . . .” Most of the poems in Some Ether focus on Flynn’s tumultuous family life and include a detached yet affecting look at childhood and trauma. Having written about his family in both poetry and prose, Flynn has said, “The way I write I don’t see much distinction between the two, although prose seems more suited to daylight, and poetry to night. I try to cook both down to something essential—by the end hopefully some balance between mystery and clarity remains.”

Flynn is also the author of the books of poetry Blind Huber (2002), The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands (2011), and My Feelings (2015). He has also written several memoirs, including Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (2004), Being Flynn (2005), The Ticking is the Bomb (2010), and The Reenactments (2013); and the play Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins (2008). His book The Ticking Is the Bomb: A Memoir of Bewilderment (2010) addresses the Abu Ghraib scandal. 

Flynn teaches creative writing at the University of Houston, and splits his time between Houston and Brooklyn, New York.

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