Changes Press recently announced the winner of its Bergman Prize. Poet Laura Newbern, an adjunct Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing adjunct professor at Reinhardt was chosen out of nearly 1,200 submissions.
The Changes Book Prize awards $10,000 and a publishing contract to the author of a first or second collection of poems in the spring of 2024. The winning poet also receives national distribution, publicity, and a book launch event in New York City.
Newbern won for her second collection of poems, titled A Night in the Country. Her first poetry collection, Love and the Eye, was a finalist in the same competition last year when the prize was first debuted.
Newbern says being the winner is an especially exciting honor because the judge was poet Louise Glück, whose honors include the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize. Previously, her first book was selected by Claudia Rankine for the Kore Press First Book Award and she was also the recipient of a Writer’s Award from the Rona Jaffe Foundation.
In addition to remotely teaching Reinhardt’s creative writing graduate students, Newbern works full-time as an Associate Professor at Georgia College and edits the college’s journal Arts & Letters. She enjoys the summer residency at Reinhardt due to its intimate workshop setting and lively schedule of visiting writers. She added, “I see the students’ work getting sharper and gaining the tools to become better critics of their own efforts.” The poet says her third book is underway and that she’s her own biggest critic.