CMU English Professor Wins National Chapbook Contest

Jeffrey Bean’s chapbook Ella’s Plan wins 2022 Poet’s Corner Contest

| Author: Robert Fanning | Media Contact: Sarah Buckley

A new chapbook by Central Michigan University English faculty member Jeffrey Bean has won the 2022 Poet’s Corner Contest. 

Bean says it is a dream come true to have his chapbook, Ella’s Plan, selected by contest judge and nationally acclaimed poet Naomi Shihab Nye, one of his favorite poets.

“In high school, my creative writing teacher showed me a poem by Nye called ‘Valentine for Ernest Mann.’ It was one of the first poems I ever loved—and one of the first that made me want to write poetry,” Bean said.

The prize includes a $1,000 honorarium and 20 printed copies of the chapbook, a slim volume of poems.

The poems in Ella’s Plan feature moving and inspiring portraits of the world of fictional child, Ella, who is part imaginary and part inspired by the poet’s own childhood. 

In her judge’s statement, Nye writes, “Ella’s Plan is mesmerizing, embodying the real presence of an imaginative, eccentric, tender daydreamer-child . . . I could not look away from these magical poems.”

Bean says the limited-edition collection printed on letter press and designed by Richard Reitz Smith is gorgeous.

“I am thrilled with Smith’s vision for this book—I couldn’t be happier with the design,” Bean said.

Ella’s Plan is available for purchase on the Poet’s Corner website and in downtown Mount Pleasant at Sleepy Dog Books.

View latest news