Emily Dickinson First Book Award

The POETRY FOUNDATION, publisher of Poetry magazine, is pleased to announce the 2012 EMILY DICKINSON FIRST BOOK AWARD, designed to recognize an American poet at least 40 years of age who has yet to publish a first collection of poetry.

The Poetry Foundation seeks one book-length poetry manuscript to be published by Graywolf Press as the winner of the Emily Dickinson First Book Award. The competition is open to any American citizen forty years of age or over who has not previously published a book-length volume of poetry. In addition to publication and promotion of the manuscript, the winner will receive a prize of $10,000.

Submission Guidelines

  • Contestants must be 40 years of age or older by February 17, 2012.
  • There is no charge to submit for this contest.
  • All poems must be original. Translations are not accepted.
  • The manuscript must be between 48 pages and 80 pages in a standard font and size (eg. Times New Roman, 12pt). All manuscripts must be paginated. Begin paginating the manuscript with the first poem; each new poem must start a new page.
  • Submissions may be made in hard copy via mail or online at the following address: dickinson.poetryfoundation.org.
  • The author's name and complete contact information should appear on the title page only.
  • A brief biography citing any previous chapbook, anthology, or magazine publications should follow the cover page. Publishing credits should include title of poem, where published, and when. Writers who have had chapbooks of poetry printed in editions of 300 copies or more are ineligible.
  • Do not staple or bind hardcopy manuscripts.
  • A manuscript previously submitted to the Emily Dickinson contest may not be reentered, unless it has been selected as a finalist.
  • Submissions are limited to one manuscript per person.
  • All submissions will remain the property of the author.
  • Due to the volume of entries received, manuscripts can not be returned.
  • The winner must grant exclusive first publication rights to the Poetry Foundation and its publication partner, Graywolf Press.
  • Please include a self-addressed stamped postcard or an email address if you wish to be notified of manuscript receipt.
  • In order to submit for the 2012 contest, follow the above guidelines and send manuscripts to the address below, postmarked from January 16, 2012 and no later than February 17, 2012.
  • The winner will be required to verify age and citizenship, as well as provide tax identification information before the award can be made.

Poetry Foundation
Attn. Emily Dickinson Award
61 West Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60654-5457
Telephone: (312) 787-7070

The winner will be notified by April 30, 2012 and publicly announced at the Pegasus Awards ceremony in 2012.

This is an occasional contest that is not held annually.

Other Information

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