Several prizes are awarded annually for the best work printed in Poetry during the preceding year. Only poems already published in the magazine are eligible for consideration, and no formal application is necessary. The winners are announced in the November issue. Following the prize descriptions is a complete list of past prize winners.

The Poetry Foundation also administers the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships.

The Levinson Prize, presented annually since 1914 through the generosity of the late Salmon O. Levinson and his family, in the amount of $500, is awarded to Thomas Sayers Ellis for his poem "Vernacular Owl" in the July/August 2014 issue.

The Bess Hokin Prize, established in 1948 through the generosity of Poetry’s late friend and guarantor Mrs. David Hokin, in the amount of $1,000, is awarded to Claudia Rankine for her poem in the March 2014 issue from "Citizen."

The Frederick Bock Prize, founded in 1981 by friends in memory of the former associate editor of Poetry, in the amount of $500, is awarded to Franny Choi for her poems "Second Mouth" and "To the Man Who Shouted 'I Like Pork Fried Rice' at Me on the Street" from the March 2014 issue.

The J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize, endowed since 1994, in the amount of $5,000, is awarded to Jamaal May for his poems "There Are Birds Here" and "Per Fumum" from the February 2014 issue.

The John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize For Translation, established in 1999 by Bonnie Larkin Nims, trustees of the Poetry Foundation, and friends of the late poet, translator, and editor, in the amount of $500, is awarded to Kareem James Abu-Zeid for his translations of Dunya Mikhail's "Tablets" in the March 2014 issue and of Najwan Darwish's poems "Mary," "Want Ad," and "A Moment of Silence," from the April 2014 issue.

The Friends of Literature Prize, established in 2002 by the Friends of Literature, in the amount of $500, is awarded to francine j. harris for her poem "enough food and a mom" in the September 2014 issue.

The Editors Prize for Feature Article, established in 2005, in the amount of $1,000, is awarded to Tom Sleigh for his essay "To Be Incarnational" from the February 2014 issue.

The Editors Prize for Reviewing, established in 2004, in the amount of $1,000, is awarded to Frances Richard for her review of Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics in the May 2014 issue.

Past Winners by Prize and Year

The Levinson Prize has been presented annually since 1914 through the generosity of the late Salmon O. Levinson and his family, and is now permanently endowed. Past winners include:

Carl Sandburg 1914
Vachel Lindsay 1915
Edgar Lee Masters 1916
Cloyd Head 1917
O. C. Underwood 1918
H. L. Davis 1919
Wallace Stevens 1920
Lew Sarett 1921
Robert Frost 1922
Edwin Arlington Robinson 1923
Amy Lowell 1924
Ralph Cheever Dunning 1925
Mark Turbyfill 1926
Maurice Lesemann 1927
Elinor Wylie 1928
Marjorie Seiffert 1929
Hart Crane 1930
Edna St. Vincent Millay 1931
no prizes awarded 1932
Marianne Moore 1933
Horace Gregory 1934
Mary Barnard 1935
Robert Penn Warren 1936
Louise Bogan 1937
H. D. 1938
E. E. Cummings 1939
Robinson Jeffers 1940
Archibald MacLeish 1941
Karl J. Shapiro 1942
John Malcoln Brinnin 1943
John Frederick Nims 1944
Dylan Thomas 1945
John Ciardi 1946
Muriel Rukeyser 1947
Randall Jarrell 1948

James Merrill 1949
John Berryman 1950
Theodore Roethke 1951
St. John Perse 1952
Vernon Watkins 1953
William Carlos Williams 1954
Thom Gunn 1955
Stanley Kunitz 1956
Jay MacPherson 1957
Hayden Carruth 1958
Delmore Schwartz 1959
Robert Creeley 1960
David Jones 1961
Anne Sexton 1962
Robert Lowell 1963
Robert Duncan 1964
George Barker 1965
Basil Bunting 1966
Alan Dugan 1967
Gary Snyder 1968
A. D. Hope 1969
A. R. Ammons 1970
Turner Cassity 1971
Michael Hamburger 1972
Richard Howard 1973
John Hollander 1974
Howard Nemerov 1975
Judith Moffett 1976
John Ashbery 1977
Brewster Ghiselin 1978
Philip Levine 1979
Marilyn Hacker 1980
James Dickey 1981
Alfred Corn 1982
Frederick Turner 1983

Ernst Pöppel 1983
Gary Soto 1984
David Bottoms 1985
Raymond Carver 1985
Maxine Kumin 1986
Stephen Dunn 1987
Reynolds Price 1988
Brendan Galvin 1989
J. D. McClatchy 1990
Linda Gregerson 1991
W. S. Merwin 1992
May Sarton 1993
David Wagoner 1994
Billy Collins 1995
Philip Schultz 1996
Yusef Komunyakaa 1997
Rita Dove 1998
Stephen Dobyns 1999
Kenneth Koch 2000
Charlie Smith 2001
Sandra M. Gilbert 2002
Patrick McGuinness 2003
W. S. Di Piero 2004
Frank Bidart 2005
Geoffrey Hill 2006
Mary Kinzie 2007
Frederick Seidel 2008
Ilya Kaminsky 2009
Ron Silliman 2010
Carolyn Forché 2011
Dean Young 2012
Joshua Mehigan 2013
Thomas Sayers Ellis 2014

 

The Bess Hokin Prize was established in 1947 through the generosity of our late friend and guarantor, Mrs. David Hokin, and is given annually in her memory. Past winners include:

William Abrahams 1948
Barbara Howes 1949
Lloyd Frankenberg 1950
M. B. Tolson 1951
L. E. Hudgins 1952
Ruth Stone 1953
Hayden Carruth 1954
Philip Booth 1955
Charles Tomlinson 1956
Sylvia Plath 1957
Alan Neame 1958
Jean Clower 1959
Denise Levertov 1960
X. J. Kennedy 1961
W. S. Merwin 1962
Adrienne Rich 1963
Gary Snyder 1964
Galway Kinnell 1965
Thomas Clark 1966
Wendell Berry 1967
Michael Benedikt 1968
Marvin Bell 1969
Charles Martin 1970
Erica Jong 1971

Sandra McPherson 1972
Jane Shore 1973
Margaret Atwood 1974
Charles O. Hartman 1975
Norman Dubie 1976
Gary Soto 1977
Richard Kenney 1978
Robert Beverley Ray 1979
Gerald Stern 1980
Caroline Knox 1981
Pattiann Rogers 1982
Lawrence Raab 1983
Greg Glazner 1984
Linda Pastan 1985
Stephen Dobyns 1986
Ralph Angel 1987
George Starbuck 1988
Alice Fulton 1989
Billy Collins 1990
Gary Fincke 1991
Richard Foerster 1992
Julie Suk 1993
J. D. McClatchy 1994
Carl Dennis 1995

Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill 1996
Paul Muldoon 1996
James Kimbrell 1997
D. Nurkse 1998
Dabney Stuart 1999
George Scarbrough 2000
Wayne Miller 2001
Alissa Leigh 2002
Robert Bly 2003
A. F. Moritz 2004
Craig Arnold 2005
Robert Pinsky 2006
Conor O'Callaghan 2007
George Szirtes 2008
Roddy Lumsden 2009
Valzhyna Mort 2010
Tom Pickard 2011
Linda Kunhardt 2012
Laura Kasischke 2013
Claudia Rankine 2014

 

The Frederick Bock Prize was founded in 1981 by friends of the late former Associate Editor of Poetry. Past winners include:

John N. Morris 1981
Baron Wormser 1982
Richard Kenney 1983
Rodney Jones 1984
Dana Gioia 1985
Cathy Song 1986
Kevin Stein 1987
Robert Wrigley 1988
J. Allyn Rosser 1989
George Witte 1990
Neal Bowers 1991
Billy Collins 1992
Jane Kenyon 1993

Tom Disch 1994
Alison Stone 1995
James Scruton 1996
Andrew Hudgins 1997
Pattiann Rogers 1998
Sarah Arvio 1999
Roberta Spear 2000
Trevor West Knapp 2001
David Bottoms 2002
D. Nurske 2003
A. E. Stallings 2004
Albert Goldbarth 2005
Thylias Moss 2006

Jason Guriel 2007
Rae Armantrout 2008
Don Paterson 2009
Paul Hoover 2010
Reginald Dwayne Betts 2011
Ange Mlinko 2012
Anna Maria Hong 2013
Franny Choi 2014

The Union League Civic and Arts Poetry Prize for a young poet was presented annually from 1951 to 1972, and re-established in 1993 to 2006, through the generosity of the Union League Civic & Arts Foundation. Past winners include:

Horace Gregory 1951
Robinson Jeffers 1952
Robert Penn Warren 1953
Dorothy Donnelly 1954
Anne Ridler 1955
Jean Garrigue 1956
Robert Duncan 1957
James Dickey 1958
William Stafford 1959
Ben Belitt 1960
Charles Tomlinson 1961
William Dickey 1962

William Jay Smith 1963
Louis Zukofsky 1964
Gael Turnbull 1965
John Ashbery 1966
Robert Creeley 1967
Clayton Eshleman 1968
Margaret Atwood 1969
Dick Allen 1970
Philip Murray 1971
Tom Disch 1972
William Matthews 1993
Debora Greger 1994

Neal Bowers 1995
Sandra M. Gilbert 1996
David Wagoner 1997
Yusef Komunyakaa 1998
J. D. McClatchy 1999
Kay Ryan 2000
Ellen Hinsey 2001
Not Awarded 2002
Eleanor Stanford 2003
Neisha Tweed 2004
Meghan O'Rourke 2005
Katherine Larson 2006

 

The J. Howard and Barbara M. J. Wood Prize is presented annually and endowed since 1994 through the generosity of Mrs. Wood. Past winners include:

Rebecca McClanahan 1994
W. S. Merwin 1995
Charles Wright 1996
Carl Dennis 1997
Robert Wrigley 1998
Billy Collins 1999
Charlie Smith 2000

Stephen Dunn 2001
Stephen Dobyns 2002
William Logan 2003
Atsuro Riley 2004
J. Allyn Rosser 2005
Joel Brouwer 2006
Heidi Steidlmayer 2007

Seth Abramson 2008
Sarah Lindsay 2009
Dorothea Grossman 2010
Franz Wright 2011
Eduardo Corral 2012
Randall Mann 2013
Jamaal May 2014

The John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize for translation work is permanently endowed through a fund established by Bonnie Larkin Nims, Trustees of The Poetry Foundation, and friends of the late poet, translator, and Editor of Poetry. Past winners include:

Rita Dove and Fred Viebahn 1999
Andrew Shields 2000
Marilyn Hacker 2001
Eavan Boland 2002
Reginald Gibbons and Charles Segal 2003
Sherod Santos 2004
Clare Cavanagh 2005
Geoffrey Brock 2006
Michael Hofmann 2007
Philip Nikolayev 2008
Susanna Nied 2009
Laura Leichum 2010
A.E. Stallings 2011
Peter Cole 2012
Miller Oberman 2013
Kareem James Abu-Zeid 2014

The Friends of Literature Prize was established in 2002 by The Friends of Literature, founded in Chicago in 1934 to study literature and to honor those who create it. Past winners include:

Gregory Djanikian 2002
Susan Kinsolving 2003
Ralph Sneeden 2004
Nance Van Winckel 2005
Dana Levin 2006
Todd Hearon 2007
Leila Wilson 2008
Sandra Beasley 2009
Spencer Reece 2010
Sina Queyras 2011
Devin Johnston 2012
Idra Novey 2013
francine j. harris 2014

The Editors Prize for Criticism was established in 2004 by the Poetry Foundation.
Michael Hofmann 2004

Editors Prize for Feature Article was established in 2005 by the Poetry Foundation.
Mary Kinzie 2005
Tony Hoagland 2006
Clive James 2007
Vivian Gornick 2008
Daisy Fried 2009
Durs Grünbein 2010
Joshua Mehigan 2011
Mary Ruefle 2012
Eliza Griswold and Seamus Murphy 2013
Tom Sleigh 2014

Editors Prize for Book Reviewing was established in 2005 by the Poetry Foundation.
D.H. Tracy 2005
David Orr 2006
Brian Phillips 2007
Ange Mlinko 2008
Jason Guriel 2009
Abigail Deutsch 2010
Peter Campion 2011
Adam Kirsch 2012
Michael Robbins 2013
Frances Richard 2014

The Editors Prize for Best Letter was established in 2009 by the Poetry Foundation.
Reagan Upshaw 2009
Daniel Brett Clendening 2010
Belle Randall 2011

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.