New York, NY (March 28, 2023)—Eduardo C. Corral has selected Sara Daniele Rivera’s manuscript The Blue Mimes as the recipient of the 2023 Academy of American Poets’ First Book Award, the nation’s most generous first-book prize for a poet. Rivera’s manuscript will be published by Graywolf Press in April 2024.

In addition, Rivera will receive $5,000 and a six-week, all-expenses-paid residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy. The Academy of American Poets will also purchase thousands of copies of The Blue Mimes to send to its members, making it one of the most widely distributed poetry books of the year. Rivera will also be featured on and in American Poets magazine.

Established in 1975, the Academy of American Poets’ First Book Award is designed to encourage the work of emerging poets. Previous recipients include poets Kweku Abimbola, Kemi Alabi, Threa Almontaser, Leah Naomi Green, Suji Kwock Kim, Matt Rasmussen, Mai Der Vang, Jenny Xie, and Academy Chancellor Emeritus Alberto Ríos.  

About Rivera’s winning manuscript, Corral writes: “In The Blue Mimes, Sara Daniele Rivera writes ‘[a]bsence is playing, leaping, / reproducing.’ A father’s death widens into an absence and an exhilarating range of modes and influences configure absence into a blood-warm nexus. Rivera reminds us that formal choices—lyric essay, intertextuality, line drawings—also resonate emotionally. Here, grief is connective. Here, grief is reflective. With memories rooted in New Mexico, in Cuba, and in Peru, grief is also earth-rich. Rivera’s poems are beautifully and deftly crafted—some of my favorites, though, intentionally refuse sense-making, which infuses the book with a mesmerizing strangeness. I felt deeply the grief in this book. I felt less alone after reading it.”

Sara Daniele Rivera is a Cuban and Peruvian American artist, writer, translator, and educator from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She received her MFA in creative writing from Boston University. Her writing has appeared in the Loft Anthology, The Green Mountains Review, Storyscape Journal, spoKe, The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext, Speculative Fiction for Dreamers: a Latinx Anthology, The Bat City Review, and elsewhere. She was the recipient of a 2017 St. Botolph Club Emerging Artist Award, the winner of the 2018 Stephen Dunn Prize in Poetry from Solstice Literary Magazine, and a 2022 Tin House resident. She is the co-translator of The Blinding Star: Selected Poems of Blanca Varela (Tolsun Books, 2021). She lives in Albuquerque. 

About Eduardo C. Corral

Eduardo C. Corral is the author of Guillotine (Graywolf Press, 2020) and Slow Lightning (Yale Series of Younger Poets, 2012), selected by Carl Phillips as the winner of the 2011 Yale Series of Younger Poets. His honors include a Whiting Award, the 92NY’s Joan Leiman Jacobson Poetry Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as the Holmes National Poetry Prize and the Hodder Fellowship, both from Princeton University. A CantoMundo Fellow, Corral was the Guest Editor for Poem-a-Day in September 2019. He teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at North Carolina State University and lives in North Carolina.

About the Academy of American Poets

Founded in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is the nation’s leading champion of poets and poetry with supporters in all fifty states and beyond. The organization annually awards $1.3+ million to more than two hundred poets at various stages of their careers through its prize and fellowship programs. The organization also produces, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; established and organizes National Poetry Month each April; publishes the popular Poem-a-Day series and American Poets magazine; provides free resources to K–12 educators, including the award-winning weekly Teach This Poem series; hosts an annual series of poetry readings, and special events; and coordinates a national Poetry Coalition that promotes the value poets bring to our culture. To learn more about the Academy of American Poets, including its staff, its Board of Directors, and its Board of Chancellors, visit:

About Civitella Ranieri

Located in a fifteenth-century castle in the Umbrian region of Italy, Civitella Ranieri Center is a workplace for international writers, composers, and visual artists. Since 1995, Civitella has hosted more than one thousand Fellows and Director’s Guests. In keeping with the spirit of its founder, Ursula Corning, and the tradition of hospitality and support for the arts that she established at the castle, the Center enables its Fellows and Director’s Guests to pursue their work and to exchange ideas in a unique and inspiring setting. For more information, visit

About Graywolf Press

Graywolf Press is a leading independent publisher committed to the discovery and energetic publication of twenty-first century American and international literature. Graywolf champions outstanding writers at all stages of their careers to ensure that adventurous readers can find underrepresented and diverse voices in a crowded marketplace. Recent books published by Graywolf have won the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize, the Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the National Book Award, among other honors. For more information, visit