Cohen Awards

Each year, we honor the best short story and poem published in Ploughshares with the Cohen Awards, which are wholly sponsored by our longtime patrons Denise and Mel Cohen. Finalists are nominated by staff editors, and the winners — each of whom receives a cash prize of $600 — are selected by our advisory editors. This award is not open for the submission of manuscripts.

Award Year
Winning Story/Poem
Andria Nacina Cole
Leaving Women (Fiction)
Spring 2009
Adrian Blevins
The Waning (Poetry)
Winter 2009-10
Tarfia Faizullah from Interview with a Birangona (Poetry) Winter 2008-09
Steven Schwartz Bless Everybody (Fiction) Fall 2008
Jennifer Grotz The Life and Times of George Van Den Heuvel (Poetry) Winter 2007-08
Bret Anthony Johnston Republican (Fiction) Fall 2007
Joan Wickersham The Woodwork (Fiction) Fall 2006
Victoria Chang Proof (Poetry) Spring 2006
Laura Kasischke 
If a Stranger Approaches You about Carrying a Foreign Object with You onto the Plane . . . (Fiction) Fall 2005
R. T. Smith Dar He (Poetry) Spring 2005
Xu Xi Famine (Fiction) Winter 2004-05
Daisy Fried Shooting Kinesha (Poetry) Spring 2004
Rebecca Soppe The Pantyhose Man (Fiction) Winter 2003-04
Jane Mead Was Light (Poetry) Spring 2003
Joan Silber The High Road (Fiction) Fall 2002
Scott Withiam Walk Right In (Poetry) Spring 2002
Julie Orringer Pilgrims (Fiction) Spring 2001
Caroline Finkelstein Conjecture Number One Thousand (Poetry) Fall 2001
Elizabeth Graver The Mourning Door (Fiction) Fall 2000
Adrian C. Louis  
This is the Time of Grasshoppers and All That I See is Dying (Poetry) Winter 2000  
Judith Grossman How Aliens Think (Fiction) Spring 1999
Jonah Winter Sestina: Bob (Poetry) Spring 1999
Chris Adrian The Sum of Our Parts (Fiction) Winter 1998-99
Herman Fong Grandfather's Alphabet (Poetry) Spring 1998
Maxine Swann Flower Children (Fiction) Fall 1997
Mark Doty Mercy on Broadway (Poetry) Spring 1997
Andrew Sean Greer Come Live with Me and Be My Love (Fiction) Fall 1996
Campbell McGrath Praia dos Orixas (Poetry) Winter 1996-97
Janet Desaulniers After Rosa Parks (Fiction) Winter 1995-96
Louise Glück Penelope's Stubbornness (Poetry) Winter 1995-96
Mary Ruefle Glory (Poetry) Winter 1994-95
Marshall N. Klimasewiski Snowfield (Fiction)   Spring 1994  
Charles Baxter Dysfunctional Narratives (Nonfiction) Fall 1994
Cleopatra Mathis The Story (Poetry) Winter 1993-94
Fred Leebron Lovelock (Fiction) Fall 1993
Richard Garcia In the Year 1946 (Poetry) Spring 1992
Ron Carlson Blazo (Fiction) Spring 1992
Debra Spark The Lure of the West (Nonfiction) Spring 1992
Tess Gallagher from The Valentine Elegies (Poetry) Spring 1991
Richard McCann Nights of 1990 (Poetry) Winter 1991-92
Eileen Pollack Neversink (Fiction) Fall 1991
Dan Wakefield   
Lion: A Memoir of Mark Van Doren (Nonfiction) Fall 1991   
Susan Mitchell Night Music (Poetry) Winter 1990-91
Carol Roh-Spaulding Waiting for Mr. Kim (Fiction) Fall 1990
William Kittredge from Hole in the Sky (Nonfiction) Winter 1990-91
Patricia Traxler from The Widow's Words (Poetry) Winter 1989
Michael Ryan A Burglary (Poetry) Spring 1989
Christopher Tilghman In a Father's Place (Fiction) Fall 1989
James Carroll The Virtue of Writing (Nonfiction) Fall 1989
Dennis Sampson The Commandment (Poetry) Winter 1988
Josip Novakovich The Apple (Fiction) Fall 1988
Richard Yates R.V. Cassill's Clem Anderson (Nonfiction) Fall 1988
Carol Frost In Scarecrow's Garden (Poetry) Spring 1987
Linda Bamber The Time-to-Teach-Jane-Eyre-Again Blues (Fiction) Fall 1987
Gerald Shapiro Evan S. Connell: A Profile (Nonfiction) Fall 1986
Al Young from 22 Moon Poems (Poetry) Fall 1986
Mona Simpson Lonnie Tishman (Fiction) Spring 1986
Phillip Lopate Against Joie de Vivre (Nonfiction) Spring 1986
1986 (Inaugural Year)
Tom Sleigh Hope (Poetry) Winter 1984
Gerald Duff Fire Ants (Fiction) Winter 1984
Domenic Stansberry John Gardner: The Return Home (Nonfiction) Fall 1984

Also see our list of Zacharis Award winners, honoring each year the best debut book by a Ploughshares writer.

And take a look at the 129 stories, poems, and essays from Ploughshares that have appeared over the last thirty-two years in The Best American Poetry, The Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses.