Contests & Awards

Find the results of previous Palette Poetry contests here.

Please visit this page to find the guidelines for our current contest.

 


The Previously Published Prize

Contest closed on January 15, 2024.

WINNER — TBD in April 2024

Runner-Ups — TBD

Finalists — TBD

The literary landscape is abundant with presses and magazines with the advent of digital publication—so many good poems have been circulated and celebrated, but others have been forgotten, overlooked, and deserve a renewed life. We want to spotlight the poems that you love and have previously published, but feel are no longer receiving the attention or recognition they merit.

Winners selected by the Editors.

 


The 2023 Resistance & Resilience Prize

Contest closed on October 15, 2023.

WINNER — TBD in January 2024

Runner-Ups — TBD

Finalists — TBD

For this contest, we are especially interested in reading poems that reflect upon, live within, wrestle with, uplift, or subvert themes of resistance and resilience. We are looking for poetry of pushback and of survival, poetry that troubles power and poetry that nurtures its readers and writers alike.

Winners selected by Natasha Rao.

 


Grisly & Grotesque Challenge

Contest closed on October 31, 2023.

WINNER — TBD in February 2024

Runner-Ups — TBD

Finalists — TBD

For the Grisly & Grotesque Challenge, we seek poems that recast the familiar in strange, moving, and uncanny ways.

Winners selected by the Editors.

 


The 2023 Chapbook Prize

Contest closed on August 20, 2023.

WINNER — Ava ChenHabitual Prayer (coming late 2024)

Runner Up — Dujie Tahat, AM I NOT OF THE SAME CUT STONE

Finalists —

Post-Traumatic by Beatrice Lazarus

A MIRROR OF BURNING PANTHERS by Clif Mason

micro.climates by David Maduli

Grass Widow by Kathie Collins

Hindsight by Mack Rogers

Family Geography by Maggie Wolff

Tan’s Donuts by Maya Cheav

Aubade with Factory and Rain by Tatiana Gómez

 

Winners selected by Danez Smith.

 


The 2023 Sappho Prize

Contest closed on June 15, 2023.

1st — Para Vadhahong, "Learning English in the Margins of the Masters"

2nd — Lizabeth Yandel, "Confessional"

3rd — Starr Davis, "COUNTERPETITIONER'S SUPPORTING AFFIDAVIT"

For emerging poets, this contest only accepts submissions from poets who have not yet published a full-length collection at the time of submission.

Winners selected by Evie Shockley.

 


The 2023 Rising Poet Prize

Contest closed on April 16, 2023.

1st — Logan Klutse, "Sidewalk"

2nd — Aída Esmeralda, "War Leaves a Language (Dream Notes)"

3rd  Mia Kang, "Tony Reflects on Form"

For emerging poets, this contest only accepts submissions from poets who have not yet published a full-length collection at the time of submission. The winning poet is awarded $3000 and publication with Palette Poetry. Second and third place receive $300 & $200 respectively, as well as publication.

Winners selected by Maggie Smith.

 


The 2023 Ekphrastic Challenge

Contest closed on January 31, 2023.

1st — Kate Sweeney, "Lovers"

Finalist — Carling McManus, “Closed Circuit" (accepted elsewhere)

Finalist — Kiyoko Reidy, “My Brother As Anonymous Bather

For our one-week-only Ekphrastic Challenge, we invited poetry submissions that are ekphrastic in some way, that engage dynamically with a work of art, music, film, etc... One winning poet received $500 and publication, and finalists were also considered for publication. 

Winner selected by Palette editors.

 


 

The 2023 Previously Published Poem Prize

Contest closed on January 15, 2023.

1st — Tariq Thompson, "ON OUR BIRTHDAY, LORRAINE HANSBERRY & I DISCUSS SUNLIGHT"

2nd — Dāshaun Washington, “A Fairy Tale of Blackboyhood

3rd — Tiana Clark, “Scorched Earth

So many great poems have been circulated and celebrated, but others have been forgotten, overlooked, and deserve a new life. This prize is to shine a light upon the poems you've published elsewhere and love, but feel are no longer receiving the attention or recognition they merit.

Winners selected by Palette editors.

 


 

The 2022 Love & Eros Prize

Contest closed on October 16, 2022.

1st — AE Hines, "Security Deposit"

2nd — Shannan Mann, “Versions of the Undefinable Other

3rd — Caroline New, “Elk Lake, MI

Love engulfs us, desire rules us. For this contest, 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.

Winners selected by Carl Phillips.

 


 

The 2022 Chapbook Prize

Contest closed on August 25, 2022.

Winner: Joshua Aiken—to be in & of.

We’re delighted to launch the inaugural Palette Chapbook Prize— $2000 award, 50 physical copies, and digital publication! Poetry chapbook manuscripts of all styles are welcome—we have no theme or aesthetic preference. 

Winner selected by Chen Chen.


 

The 2022 Sappho Prize

Contest closed on June 19, 2022.

1st — Mónica Gomery, "Occupational Hazards"

2nd — Jennifer Harrison, “The Oldest Forest

3rd — Kendall Grady, “Untitled

We're honored to be able to create space for women* poets to step forward. Thanks to the efforts of the VIDA project and others, we've made a lot of progress in the past few years, but much work is still to be done. This contest only accepts submissions from women* poets.

Winners selected by Jos Charles.

 


The 2022 Emerging Poet Prize

Contest closed on April 17, 2022.

1st — Grace MacNair, "Theodicy"

2nd — Liala Zaray, “CNN’s correspondent thinks afghani means Afghan

3rd — Gabriel Cortez, “I just wanted to see what it would do when I say—

Meant for emerging poets, this contest only accepts submissions from poets with no more than one full-length collection out at the time of submission.

Winners selected by Safia Elhillo.

 


The 2022 Previously Published Poem Prize

Contest closed on January 16, 2022.

1st — K. Iver, "Who Is This Grief For?"

2nd — Shakthi Shrima, “Self Portrait in Lust“

3rd — Sneha Subramanian Kanta, “Partition Homes”

Winners selected by Palette editors.

 


The 2021 Love & Eros Prize

Contest closed on October 18, 2021.

1st — Emily Lawson, "Sand Flats, UT"

2nd — Maria Nazos, "The Hollywood Glacier"

3rd — Rachel Abramowitz, "Restoration"

Winners selected by Kaveh Akbar.

 


The 2021 Palette Poetry Prize

Contest closed on August 16, 2021.

1st — Katie Hale, "The Gallery of America"

2nd — Claire Wahmanholm, "A"

3rd — Len Lawson, "Hypotenuse"

Winners selected by Jericho Brown.

 


The 2021 Sappho Prize

Contest closed on June 20, 2021.

1st — Emily Zogbi, "Lost Things" 

2nd —Sophia Anfinn Tonnessen, "Layaway"

3rd — Yi Wei, "Look"

Winners selected by Maggie Smith.

 


The 2021 Emerging Poet Prize

Contest closed on April 19, 2021.

1st — Crystal Valentine, "Black Madonna"

2nd — Christine Poreba, "Slipped Stitches"

3rd — Serrina Zou, "The Present of Poetry"

Winners selected by Kelli Russell Agodon.

 


The 2021 Previously Published Poem Prize

Contest closed on January 17, 2021.

1st — Diane Kerr, "The Distinguished Thing: A Colloquy"

2nd — Darius Simpson, “If I’m Caught Between a Badge and a Hard Place Three Hours After the Streetlights Turn On"

3rd — Catherine-Esther Cowie, “Aftermath”

Winners selected by Palette editors.

 


The 2020 Palette Poetry Prize

Contest closed on August 16, 2020.

1st — Teresa Dzieglewicz, "There are no police in this poem"

2nd —Matthew Minicucci, "(grapes)"

3rd — Kathleen Winter, "The Sheep and the Lambs" 

Winners selected by guest judge, Forrest Gander.

 


The 2020 Sappho Prize

Contest closed on June 14, 2020.

1st — Faylita Hicks, "I Tried Dating Again–Like the Doctor Said–But I Don’t Think I’m Ready #2020"

2nd — Withdrawn by winner

3rd — Natasha Rao, "Abecedarian on Shame"

Winners selected by guest judge, Victoria Chang.


The 2020 Emerging Poet Prize

Contest closed on April 19, 2020.

1st — A.D. Lauren-Abunassar, “The Immigration Pastoral”

2nd — Mikko Harvey, “Let the World Have You” 

3rd — Akosua Zimba Afiriyie-Hwedie, “Provenance” 

The winners were selected by our guest judge, Ilya Kaminsky.


The 2019 Previously Published Poem Prize

Contest closed on October 15, 2019.

1st — Nicole Rollender, "The Luster of Everything I’m Already Forgetting” (originally published in Gigantic Sequins)

2nd — Leila Chatti, “What Will Happen” (originally published in Indiana Review)

3rd — Isabella DeSendi, “America’s First Female Muslim Judge Found Floating in a River” (originally published in Narrative)


The 2019 Emerging Poet Prize

Contest closed on August 15, 2019.

1st — Cassandra Bruner, “After Frida Kahlo’s Sin Esperanza & the Crohn’s Diagnosis”

2nd — Randy James, “Sauce on the Side”

3rd — Jesús I. Valles, “Mexican Standard About a Desert”

 

The winners were selected by our guest judge, Kim Addonizio.


The 2019 Palette Poetry Prize

Winners:

1st — Shelley Stenhouse, "The Great Cosmic Hum"

2nd — Alycia Pirmohamed, "House of Prayer"

3rd — Madhur Anand, BRAIN HEMORRHAGE, EARLY FALL 

 

The winners were selected by our guest judge, Edward Hirsch.


The 2019 Spotlight Award

Winners:

1st — Gbenga Adesina, “Surrender”

2nd — Antonio Lopez, “Aullo” 

3rd — Miranda Beeson, “There’s a Rattle, Sometimes” 

Honorable Mention — Francisco Marquez, “I’m not one of those who left my land”


The 2018 Emerging Poet Prize

Winners:

1st — Victoria Flanagan, “In Response to My Mother When She Says Hearing Me Read My Writing’s like Hearing God”

2nd — Benjamin Garcia, “Huitlacoche”

3rd — Nicole Homer, “Feral and Conjoined” 


The 2018 Palette Poetry Prize

Winners:

1st — torrin a. greathouse, “Hapnophobia or the Fear of Being Touched”

2nd — madison eli johnson, “west harlem, july 2017”

3rd — Brittany Leitner, “Liberosis”

The winner was selected by our guest judge, Shane McCrae.