Winner of the 2018 Marystina Santiestevan First Book Prize from Conduit Press

Winner: Midwest Book Prize
Finalist: Maine Literary Award


Praise for Animul/Flame:

Michelle Lewis writes with a candor and urgency that recalls the poems of the late great Jack Gilbert. These commanding poems manage to be both straightforward and associative in their grapples. Take the words you saved and put them here, Lewis writes in lyrical instructions, songs and meditations. Animul/Flame is charged by an emotional integrity that yields exacting bite and insight. This is a marvelous debut.

—Terrance Hayes, author of American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

This is the book that wouldn’t let go of me. I’d return to it intending to read a part and find I couldn’t divide it from itself, that I had to finish each time. While the poems connect and speak to each other, they serve less to tell a story than enact a life, to move through violence and menace and mystery in a search for a language of survival, a way of touching memories and events without succumbing to them again. […] This is a book that devours.

—Bob Hicok, judge of the Marystina Stantiestevan First Book Prize

Forthcoming in 2025 from Barrow Street Press…



2023 Prose Contest Runner-up, chosen by Mary Cappello.

A drink, maybe, liquid the color of a cigarette’s filter. Or no drink yet, or maybe none at all, just the need for one, and where that need takes you. If a letter could reach someone instantly, think of it, now that would be something.


The so-called stain on America’s DNA can be traced back to a drunken night in a tavern by one respectable man. Think you have a name with no blood in it? Think again.


Read an excerpt from Permafrost Magazine >>