Sandra Lim wins 18th annual Levis Reading Prize for ‘The Wilderness’

Photo credit: Young Suh
Photo credit: Young Suh

Sandra Lim is the winner of the 2015 Levis Reading Prize awarded by the Department of English and its MFA in Creative Writing program at Virginia Commonwealth University for her poetry collection “The Wilderness” (W.W. Norton, 2014).

The Levis Prize is awarded annually in the name of the late Larry Levis for the best first or second book of poetry published in the previous calendar year. Lim will receive an award of $5,000 and will read from her prize-winning work at 7 p.m., on Oct. 8, at the Grace Street Theater in Richmond, followed by a reception. 

Lim’s previous collection of poetry, “Loveliest Grotesque” (Kore Press, 2006), won the 2006 Kore Press First Book Award for Poetry, and “The Wilderness” was previously selected by Louise Glück for the 2013 Barnard Women Poets Prize. 

Lim’s poetry and essays have recently appeared in Boston Review, Guernica, VOLT, MiPOesias and the 2015 edition of the Pushcart Prize. She is a recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center and the Getty Research Institute and is an assistant professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. 

This year the Levis Reading Prize committee recognizes two additional finalists for their outstanding books: Jericho Brown for his collection “The New Testament” (Copper Canyon Press, 2014) and Rose McLarney for her collection “Its Day Being Gone” (Penguin, 2014). 

Sponsors for the Levis Reading Prize include the VCU Department of English, VCU Libraries, Barnes & Noble@VCU and the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, with additional funding provided by the family of Larry Levis. The prize honors the memory of poet Larry Levis who served on the creative writing faculty at VCU at the time of his death in 1996.

For further information about the Levis Reading Prize, see, call 804.828.1329, or contact John-Michael Bloomquist, Levis Coordinator: or Gregory Donovan, director of the Levis Reading Prize:


Featured image up top : Sandra Lim. Photo credit: Young Suh. 


About VCU and the VCU Medical Center Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see

Photo credit: Young Suh
Photo credit: Young Suh