"Chris was an incredibly involved poet, interacting with the literary scene in Baltimore and worldwide," Adam Robinson, of Publishing Genius, wrote City Paper in an email. "He made an impact on so many writers. This prize is a way to memorialize him every year—not just for his own writing, but for the way he loved the writing world. The prize committee talked about just giving a sum of money to a writer or a new book that we thought exemplified Chris's viewpoints, but one of his viewpoints was how great chapbooks are, and how important it is to produce these things, so we decided a whole publishing project was most fitting."
Chris Toll Memorial Writing Prize
Baltimore's Publishing Genius press just announced the creation of a poetry award in honor of poet Chris Toll, who died in September of last year. The Chris Toll Memorial Writing Prize is intended to honor "one poet each year whose work indicates the belief that poetry is the best of all callings, who carries poetry through life like a grim, hard, and happy duty, who knows, as Chris did, the finest expanse we might measure is for the love behind the word." Submissions for an unpublished chapbook open on June 1. The winning chapbook will be published by Publishing Genius and and the author will receive a cash prize.