We’re delighted to offer the inaugural Love & Eros Prize for 2021: $3000 and publication! Love engulfs us, desire rules us. We encourage love poems beyond the confines of what’s traditionally “romantic.” Rather, we’re seeking unflinching examinations of our sharpest human sensations—those of desire, longing, devotion, and intimacy. All iterations of love are welcome—send us your bitter and your sweet, your queer, platonic, reverent, and devotional.
Palette's editors will choose the ten finalists and any honorable mentions that warrant extra attention. Our judge will then select the winner and runner-ups. Second and third place winners will receive $300 and $200, respectively.
The winner will be selected by this year's guest judge, Kaveh Akbar, author of Pilgrim Bell (Graywolf, 2021).
about our judge
Kaveh Akbar's poems appear in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Paris Review, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. His second full-length volume of poetry, Pilgrim Bell, was recently published by Graywolf in August 2021. His debut, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, is out with Alice James in the US and Penguin in the UK. He is also the author of the chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic, published in 2016 by Sibling Rivalry Press. In 2022, Penguin Classics will publish a new anthology edited by Kaveh: The Penguin Book of Spiritual Verse: 100 Poets on the Divine.
In 2020 Kaveh was named Poetry Editor of The Nation. The recipient of honors including multiple Pushcart Prizes, a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, and the Levis Reading Prize, Kaveh was born in Tehran, Iran, and teaches at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA programs at Randolph College and Warren Wilson. In 2014, Kaveh founded Divedapper, a home for dialogues with the most vital voices in American poetry. With Sarah Kay and Claire Schwartz, he wrote a weekly column for the Paris Review called "Poetry RX."
Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the majority of the poem is in English.
We accept simultaneous submissions—just please send us a note if your work is picked up elsewhere (we want to say congrats!)
There is no page requirement, but submission must be no more than 3 poems. Please submit all your poems in ONE document.
We do accept multiple submissions, but each submission will include the $20 reading fee.
Please include a brief cover letter with any publication history.
Contest closes on October 18, 2021.
included unique opportunities & discounts
As a thank you for your support for Palette, we'd like to offer these unique opportunities:
The Poetry School is offering every submitter a 20% off discount code (average of $28 value) to one of their online courses! Head to their platform, find a course you're interested in, and use the code included in the confirmation message at checkout.
The Writing Salon is offering every submitter a 10% off discount code on a writing class. Go to https://www.writingsalons.com/ to find a class and type in the code in the confirmation during checkout.
editorial feedback option
This option costs $59 and will provide you with two pages of detailed and actionable feedback on a poem of your choice from the submission, including suggestions for future submissions. Our guest editors are paid a significant portion of the fee (at EFA rates) and are all incredibly astute and professional poets.