The PSA will be accepting submissions from October 1, to December 22, 2014.

Become a Member of the Poetry Society of America and enter awards 1-8 for free.

Judges for 2012 included:

Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Alice Notley, Cate Marvin, Kevin Prufer, Patricia Smith, Brian Teare, David Wagoner, and Carolyne Wright. 

Awards Descriptions

PSA Member Awards

Awards 1-5 are only open to PSA Members

  • Award 1—The Writer Magazine/Emily Dickinson Award
  • $250
    Given by the PSA to honor the memory and poetry of Emily Dickinson, for a poem inspired by Dickinson though not necessarily in her style.

  • Award 2—Cecil Hemley Memorial Award
  • $500
    Established by Jack Stadler, former Treasurer of the PSA, and his late wife, Ralynn Stadler, for a lyric poem that addresses a philosophical or epistemological concern.

  • Award 3—Lyric Poetry Award
  • $500
    Established under the will of PSA member Mrs. Consuelo Ford (Althea Urn), and also in memory of Mary Carolyn Davies, for a lyric poem on any subject.
  • Award 4—Lucille Medwick Memorial Award
  • $500
    Established by Maury Medwick in memory of his wife, the poet and editor, for an original poem in any form on a humanitarian theme.
  • Award 5—Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award
  • $1,000
    Offered in memory of a benefactor and friend of the PSA, and partially endowed by the Estate of Rachel Dalven, and the estate of Ellen Lamon Anderson, for a manuscript-in-progress of poetry. Previously published work may be included in your submission; include acknowledgment of publications on your cover page. Poems entered as part of a Di Castagnola manuscript may be entered individually in other PSA contests, but NOT if they are previously published. Page limit: 10-15 pages.

    PSA Member/Non-Member Awards

    Awards 6-10 are open to all eligible poets and publishers

  • Award 6—Louise Louis/Emily F. Bourne Student Award
  • $250
    Endowed under the wills of Louise Louis Whitbread and Ruth M. Bourne, this prize is awarded for the best unpublished poem by a student in grades 9 through 12 from the United States. Teachers or administrators may submit an unlimited number of their students' poems (one submission per student-see Entry Fees, in Guidelines).
  • Award 7—George Bogin Memorial Award
  • $500
    Established by the family and friends of George Bogin for a selection of four or five poems that use language in an original way to reflect the encounter of the ordinary and the extraordinary and to take a stand against oppression in any of its forms. NOTE: Previous winners of the Bogin Award are kindly asked not to submit work again for this award.

  • Award 8—Robert H. Winner Memorial Award
  • $2,500
    Established by the family and friends of Robert H. Winner, whose first book of poems appeared when he was almost fifty years old. This award acknowledges original work being done in mid-career by a poet who has not had substantial recognition, and is open to poets over forty who have published no more than one book. Send a brief but cohesive manuscript of 10-15 pages. Please include year of birth on cover page. Previously published work may be included in your submission; include acknowledgment of publications on your cover page. Poems entered as part of a Winner manuscript may be entered individually in other PSA contests, but NOT if they are previously published.

    Book Awards

    Books must be submitted directly by publishers.

    Entry forms are required.

    Download Book Entry Form (PDF)

    Please email or call Brett Fletcher Lauer, Deputy Director, at the PSA,  if you have any questions. There is a $20 entry fee per book. No book may be submitted to both contests.

  • Award 9—Norma Farber First Book Award
  • $500
    Established by the family and friends of Norma Farber, poet and author of children's books, for a first book of original poetry written by an American and published in either a hard or soft cover in a standard edition in 2014. Translations are ineligible, as are chapbooks. Winning books are distributed to PSA members at the Second Century Friend level and above.

  • Award 10—William Carlos Williams Award
  • Purchase Prize Between $500 and $1,000
    Endowed by the family and friends of Geraldine Clinton Little, a poet and author of short stories and former vice-president of the PSA, for a book of poetry written by a single author who is a permanent resident of the United States. The book must be published by a small press, non-profit, or university press in a standard edition in 2014. Translations are ineligible, as are chapbooks. Winning books are distributed to PSA members at the Second Century Friend level and above.