Published in Seven Days on December 4, 2019

Brattleboro-based Mount Island, founded by Desmond Peeples, is a literary magazine devoted to the voices of rural LGBTQ and people of color. This week, the online quarterly began accepting submissions for a new poetry prize that honors a “voice” from the past: that of Lucy Terry Prince, who is considered the first known African American poet in English literature.

Open to poets of color who are currently in, or from, a rural place, the competition aims not only to recognize underrepresented contemporary writers but to ensure that its namesake is not forgotten. Poet and University of Vermont professor Major Jackson — a multiple prize winner himself — will serve as judge.

Lucy Terry (1730-1821) was born in West Africa…