Inaugural Prize Judges:  Linda Gregerson, Ishion Hutchinson,  and Jana Prikryl





The Four Quartets Prize is for a unified and complete sequence of poems published in America in a print or online journal , chapbook, or book in 2016 and/or 2017. Poems in the sequence may have been published in different journals provided that they were published in 2016 and/or 2017 and that brought together, they form a complete sequence.


Fourteen pages of published poems unified by subject, form, and style is the minimum per submission.  Entire books composed of a unified sequence however long are also welcome.

Only one submission per author will be considered.

Submissions will be accepted from authors, publishers, and literary agents up to December 22, 2017. There is no submission fee.

The prize is to be presented by the T.S. Eliot Foundation in partnership with the Poetry Society of America and is launching in the 75th anniversary year of the original publication of Four Quartets in a single volume, in America, in 1943.


Three finalists will receive $1,000 each. The winner will receive an additional $20,000.

The announcement of the short list will take place in Spring, 2018, followed shortly by the announcement of the winner.


The Four Quartets Prize is first and foremost a celebration of the multi-part poem, which includes entire volumes composed of a unified sequence as well as novels in verse and book-length verse narratives. Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot is a supreme example. Eliot published each of the four sections separately in literary journals and then collected them for the book. It is the 1943 book publication that would be eligible for this prize.

Gwendolyn Brooks's sequence A Street in Bronzeville , published as a book in 1945 as well as her The Anniad, published in book form in 1950, are also examples of eligible sequences.  77 Dream Poems (1964) and His Toy, His Dream, His Rest (1968) by John Berryman are other examples.

The unity of shorter sequences, which are enthusiastically welcomed, should be apparent but also articulated in a paragraph describing the aims of the sequence. Such a statement should accompany each submission, book-length or shorter.

This is an inclusive rather than a limited set of criteria, so as to welcome a wide range of work.

* * * Download Guidelines and Entry Form * * *



In summary:

  1. Fourteen pages of poems published in a print or online journal, chapbook, or book in 2016 and/or 2017 is the minimum per submission.  Please be sure to order the poems in the sequence.

  2. Send four copies of the sequence of poems, along with four copies of a paragraph-length statement describing its aims.

  3. If the poems in the sequence have been published separately in print or online journals or in a chapbook, please include four copies of the table of contents and the copyright page of each journal or chapbook attached to the poems published in that publication.

  4. If the sequence is contained in a book, please send four copies of the sequence along with four copies of the table of contents' page and the copyright page.  

  5. If the sequence constitutes an entire book, please send four copies of the book.

  6. In all cases, be sure to include four copies of the paragraph-length statement describing the aims of the sequence.

  7. The Poetry Society of America will accept submissions from authors, publishers, and literary agents up to December 22, 2017.

  8. Only one submission per author will be considered.

  9. Only work published in 2016 and/or 2017 will be considered. 

  10. Self-published work is ineligible.

  11. Multi-author work is ineligible.

  12. Translations are ineligible.

  13. No work will be returned.

  14. The submission must be accompanied by an entry form.    

  15. Submissions should be addressed and sent as follows:


Four Quartets Prize

c/o Brett Fletcher Lauer, Deputy Director
Poetry Society of America
15 Gramercy Park
New York, New York 10003