Patricia Bibby
First Book Awards

The 2021 Patricia Bibby First Book Award

Patricia Bibby was a beginning poet whose poems expressed her love of life while living with cancer. Her kindness, humor, and optimism inspired the love of many new friends in the poetry community. She died in 2004, at age 43, without having been published. In naming the First Book Award after Patricia Bibby, Tebot Bach honors the aspirations and spirit of all beginning poets. Dorothy Barresi serves as judge for this competition that looks for a fresh, new voice in poetry.

Congratulations to Betsy Aoki, winner of the 2021 Patricia Bibby First Book Award for her manuscript, Breakpoint. Final judge Dorothy Barresi called Breakpoint “cutting edge” and praised its many “moments of brilliance.” By day, Elizabeth (Betsy) Aoki leads tech teams to build social applications, search/metrics products and video games. By night, she writes fiction and poetry, and contributes poetry book reviews to the International Examiner. A 2019 National Poetry Series finalist, she’s received grants and fellowships from Clarion West Writers Workshop, the City of Seattle, Artist Trust Foundation, Jackstraw Writers Program, and Hedgebrook. Her work has been included in two anthologies Fire On Her Tongue: An Anthology of Contemporary Women’s Poetry (Two Sylvias Press) and Yellow as Turmeric, Fragrant as Cloves: A Contemporary Anthology of Asian American Women’s Poetry (Deep Bowl Press). Her chapbook, Every Vanish Leaves Its Trace was published by Finishing Line Press. Other publications include (alphabetical order): Asian Pacific Journal, Calyx, Enizagam, Hunger Mountain, Nassau Review (2015 Writer Award, Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry, Phoebe, Poetry Northwest, Seattle Review, Southern Humanities Review (finalist for Auburn Witness Poetry Prize), Seattle Times, Strange Horizons, terrain.org (Letters to America series), Uncanny Magazine. She has a poem forthcoming in Asimov’s Science Fiction.

Competition Guidelines

Winner will receive $500 and book publication

Judge: Dorothy Barresi

Deadline: early 2022 (to be announced)

The competition is open to all poets writing in English who have not committed to publishing collections of poetry of 36 poems or more in editions of over 400 copies.

All entries are now taken through Submittable.

Entries should consist of 50–84 pages of original poetry in English. No photographs, images, or illustrations. Please do not include acknowledgements at this time. Please do not include any identifying information anywhere in the manuscript. Title page and table of contents are not included in the 50–84 page count.

Manuscripts must be previously unpublished.

Translations and multi-authored collections are not eligible.

Past and current volunteers and employees of Tebot Bach are not eligible. Poets who have studied with Dorothy Barresi in more than 2 workshop settings are not eligible. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but Tebot Bach must be notified immediately if a collection is accepted for publication.

Click here to submit.

Patricia Bibby First Book Award Recipients


Betsy Aoki, 2020
Break Point


Adin Thayer, 2019
The Close World


Rachel Neve-Midbar, 2018
Salaam of Birds