Virtual AWP: 2021 Intro Journals Winners, Part 1

July 26, 2021


Headshots of Cassandra Caverhill, Dave Essinger, J.P. Grasser, Skye Jackson, Nathaniel Ricketts, and Sydney Vogl

Each year, writing program directors nominate their students’ work for the Intro Journals Project, AWP’s literary competition for the discovery and publication of the best new works by students enrolled in AWP member programs. Winning entries are published in participating literary journals.

Join us Tuesday, August 3, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. ET as five 2021 Intro Journals winners read a selection of their work and discuss their creative process, the inspiration behind their winning piece, and where they are headed next. Intro Journals General Editor Dave Essinger of the University of Findlay leads the conversation with Cassandra Caverhill, J.P. Grasser, Skye Jackson, Nathaniel Ricketts, and Sydney Vogl.

The premiere of this Virtual AWP event will also include a live Q&A on YouTube. To receive a reminder and a direct link to this free event, as well as updates on future events, register online. *Registration is free, and you do not have to be a member of AWP to do so. However, to participate in the live Q&A, you must be signed into YouTube.


Participant Bios:

Dave Essinger’s first novel, Running Out, was released in print in 2017 and audiobook in 2018. He has recently finished a postapocalyptic novel featuring teens stranded on an Ohio Air Force base, and his new project Compassion Fatigue stars an epically stressed-out veterinarian. Dave is a fiction reader for Slice magazine and general editor of the AWP Intro Journals Project. He teaches and edits the literary magazine Slippery Elm at the University of Findlay.

Cassandra Caverhill is the author of the chapbook Mayflies (Finishing Line Press). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the Windsor Review, Reed Magazine, Into the Void, Cæsura, and the Louisville Review. Cassandra is a recent graduate of Bowling Green State University’s MFA Poetry program, and she works as a freelance editor in Ann Arbor, Michigan. More information at

J.P. Grasser, a former Stegner Fellow, is a Snow Fellow and PhD candidate at the University of Utah, where he edited Quarterly West.

Skye Jackson was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Green Mountains ReviewRATTLERigorous, Xavier Review, and the I Am New Orleans anthology. Her debut chapbook, A Faster Grave, won the 2019 Antenna Prize; she was also a finalist for the 2020 Rattle Poetry Prize. In 2021, she won the AWP Intro Journals Award. Poets & Writers has recognized her as a New Orleans “Poet to Watch.”

Nathaniel Ricketts is a recent graduate of the Penn State English department’s BA/MA program in creative writing. His poetry appears in Tampa Review and Peace, Land, and Bread. He is currently revising his MA thesis, a collection of poems focused on the intersections of class struggle, industry, and ecology, for publication as a chapbook.

Sydney Vogl (she/they) is a queer poet who lives and writes in San Francisco. In 2020, she was chosen as the poetry fellow for the Martha's Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing. Her work has been published in Ghost City Press and Hobart and is forthcoming in the Tusculum Review and Iron Horse Review. She currently serves as a poetry editor for the San Franciscan magazine, curates a Bay Area reading series, and works as an educator for Bay Area youth.

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