Terrance Hayes wrote the first poem for his latest collection of poetry, “American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin,” the day after the 2016 election. The book is made up of seventy sonnets—all titled “American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin”—that Dan Chiasson describes as a “diary of survival during a period when black men are in constant danger.” Chiasson goes on to call the collection “one of the deepest accounts I have read in poetry of what it feels like to have one’s body fetishized as an object but criminalized as a force.”

Among this year’s contenders for the National Book Award for Poetry, Hayes is the only previous winner. Rae Armantrout, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who is longlisted for her collection “Wobble,” was a finalist in 2009. The other eight poets are first-time contenders. And three of the selected works are début collections—from Diana Khoi Nguyen, Justin Phillip Reed, and Jenny Xie.

The full list is below.

Rae Armantrout, “Wobble
Wesleyan University Press

Jos Charles, “feeld
Milkweed Editions

Forrest Gander, “Be With
New Directions

Terrance Hayes, “American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
Penguin Books / Penguin Random House

J. Michael Martinez, “Museum of the Americas
Penguin Books / Penguin Random House

Diana Khoi Nguyen, “Ghost Of
Omnidawn Publishing

Justin Phillip Reed, “Indecency
Coffee House Press

Raquel Salas Rivera, “lo terciario / the tertiary
Timeless, Infinite Light

Natasha Trethewey, “Monument: Poems New and Selected
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Jenny Xie, “Eye Level
Graywolf Press

The judges for the category this year are Mary Jo Bang, the author of eight collections of poetry, most recently “A Doll for Throwing”; Ken Chen, the executive director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop; Elise Paschen, whose most recent book of poems is “The Nightlife”; Danez Smith, whose book of poems “Don’t Call Us Dead” was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award; and Stephen Sparks, the co-owner of the independent bookstore Point Reyes Books.