Previous Contests & Awards

Find info about previous Palette Poetry contests here.

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


The 2020 Palette Poetry Prize

Contest closed on August 16, 2020.

1st — Reading in Progress (to be announced late October)

2nd — Reading in Progress (to be announced late October)

3rd — Reading in Progress (to be announced late October)

We are thrilled to offer the Palette Poetry Prize for 2020: $4000 and publication. We are seeking one excellent poem that speaks to what poetry is and can be for our world today. Send us your incandescent heart on the page.

The winner will be selected by our guest judge, the 2019 Pulitzer Prize Winner Forrest Gander.

Palette's editors will choose the ten finalists, and any honorable mentions they think deserve extra attention. Second and third place will receive $300 and $200, respectively.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the meat 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 reading fee.
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history.
  • Review our FAQ page for frequently asked questions.
  • Contest closes on August 16, 2020.
  • Includes a $20 Reading fee.

The 2020 Sappho Prize

Contest closed on June 14, 2020.

1st — Reading in Progress (to be announced late August)

2nd — Reading in Progress (to be announced late August)

3rd — Reading in Progress (to be announced late August)

I'm 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. Palette is YOURS as much as it is ours, and we'd love for the magazine be useful in making our community a better, fuller, richer home.

This contest only accepts submissions from women* poets. The winning poet will be awarded $3000 and publication on Palette Poetry. Second and third place will win $300 & $200 respectively, as well as publication.

The top ten finalists will be selected by the editors, and guest judge Victoria Chang will then select the winner and two runner ups. Winners and finalists will be announced toward the end of August 2020.

*all women are welcome to submit (cis, trans, non-binary, etc)

Submission Guidelines

  • For this Prize, we are only accepting work from poets who identify as women and/or non-binary
  • Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the meat 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 are only accepting unpublished work with this contest.
  • We do accept multiple submissions, but each submission will include the reading fee.
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history.
  • Review our FAQ page for frequently asked questions.
  • Contest closes on June 14th, 2020.
  • Reading fee is $20.

The 2020 Emerging Poet Prize

Contest closed on April 19, 2020.

1st — A.D. Lauren-Abunassart, “The Immigration Pastoral” (to be published on August 19th, 2020)

2nd — Mikko Harvey, “Let the World Have You” (to be published on August 12th, 2020)

3rd — Akosua Zimba Afiriyie-Hwedie, “Provenance” (to be published on August 5th, 2020)

For emerging poets, this contest only accepts submissions from authors with fewer than two full length collections out at the time of submission. The winning poet will be awarded $3000 and publication on Palette Poetry. Second and third place will win $300 & $200 respectively, as well as publication.

The top ten finalists will be selected by the editors, and guest judge Ilya Kaminsky will then select the winner and two runner ups.

Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former Soviet Union in 1977, and arrived to the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. He is the author of Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press) and Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press). He has also co-edited and co-translated many other books, including Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (Harper Collins) and Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva (Alice James Books). His awards include the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Writer's Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Metcalf Award, Lannan Foundation's Fellowship and the NEA Fellowship. His poems regularly appear in Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize anthologies. He has also been awarded Poetry magazine's Levinson Prize. Dancing In Odessa was named the Best Book of the Year by Foreword magazine. Deaf Republic was the finalist for 2019 National Book Award, Forward Prize (UK) and T.S. Eliot Prize (UK). New York Times’ Notable Book for 2019, Deaf Republic was also named Best Book of 2019 by Washington Post, Times Literary Supplement, The Telegraph, Publishers Weekly, The Guardian, Irish Times, Vanity Fair, Lithub, Library Journal, New Statesman, and other publications.

Submission Guidelines

  • For this Prize, we are only accepting work from emerging poets—poets with no more than two full-length collections published at the time of submission.
  • Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the meat 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 are only accepting unpublished work with this contest.
  • We do accept multiple submissions, but each submission will include the reading fee.
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history.
  • Review our FAQ page for frequently asked questions.
  • Contest closes on Sunday, April 19th, 2020.
  • Reading fee is $20.

 


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 and to be republished on February 19th)

2nd — Leila Chatti, “What Will Happen” (originally published in Indiana Review and to be republished on February 12th)

3rd — Isabella DeSendi, “America’s First Female Muslim Judge Found Floating in a River” (originally published in Narrative and to be republished on February 4th)

Our landscape has exploded with presses and magazines over the last few decades with the advent of digital publications—so many good poems have been found, celebrated, and, unfortunately, forgotten. We want to bring light to those lost pieces of poetry—the work that you love but no longer receives the attention it deserves. 1st Place: $2500 + Publication; 2nd Place: $300 + Publication; 3rd Place: $200 + Publication.

Submission Guidelines

  • Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the meat of the poem is in English.
  • There is no page requirement, but submission must be no more than 3 poems. Please submit all your poems in ONE document.
  • The poems must have been previously published online or in print to be eligible.
  • The poems must not have won any previous awards of $500 or more.
  • DO NOT INCLUDE the publication history of the individual poems in the document. Our readers will read these poems blind.
  • We do accept multiple submissions, but each submission will include the reading fee.

 


The 2019 Emerging Poet Prize

Contest closed on August 15, 2019.

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

A dark and sometimes darkly comic self-portrait that is wide-ranging, speaking to art, the female body, and the larger culture. One of many amazing far-reaching lines: “the way our poisoned bodies/ become feast for a board /of trustees.” — Kim Addonizio

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

There is dazzling energy and propulsion in this poem of origins and identity. I loved both its seriousness and its humor, as well as its wry self-awareness. Make way for this speaker who is “part flamingo,/part Black Howler.” —Kim Addonizio

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

This is an affecting lament —the speaker has no god or goddess except “Maquiladora, Mother deity of want.” Yet the poem grants a kind of sacredness in detailing what the speaker can claim in this difficult world where “Everything I know…I know/From bones in the sand.” — Kim Addonizio

The top ten finalists will be selected by the editors, and guest judge Kim Addonizio will then select the winner and two runner ups.

 


The 2019 Palette Poetry Prize

Contest closed on July 15, 2019.

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

2nd — Alycia Pirmohamed, "House of Prayer"

3rd — Madhur Anand, BRAIN HEMORRHAGE, EARLY FALL 

We are thrilled to offer the Palette Poetry Prize for 2019: $4000 and publication. We are seeking one excellent poem that speaks to what poetry is and can be for our world today. Send us your incandescent heart on the page.

The winner will be selected by our guest judge, Edward Hirsch:

Edward Hirsch is a celebrated poet and peerless advocate for poetry. He was born in Chicago in 1950—his accent makes it impossible for him to hide his origins—and educated at Grinnell College and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Ph.D. in Folklore. His devotion to poetry is lifelong.
He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award, a Pablo Neruda Presidential Medal of Honor, the Prix de Rome, and an Academy of Arts and Letters Award. In 2008, he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Edward Hirsch’s first collection of poems received the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University and the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. His second collection won the National Book Critics Award. Since then, he has published six additional books of poems and five books of prose, including the ubiquitous The Poets Glossary. He is now president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Palette's editors will choose the fifteen finalists, and any honorable mentions they think deserve extra attention. Second and third place will receive $300 and $200, respectively.

Submission Guidelines

  • Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the meat 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 reading fee.

 


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: