One month remains before the close of the first poetry book contest from Mississippi Review , the literary magazine of the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. The new series, whose deadline is August 1, will award three poets one thousand dollars each and publication of their collections in January 2010. The winners will also each receive one hundred copies of their books and distribution to fellow entrants and the magazine’s subscribers.
The inaugural judge is Dara Wier , author of eleven poetry collections including Remnants of Hannah (2006), Reverse Rapture (2005), Hat on a Pond (2002), and, forthcoming this fall, Selected Poems, all published by Wave Books . Weir was born in New Orleans and attended Louisiana State University. She received her MFA from Bowling Green State University  in 1974 and her first collection, Blood, Hook & Eye, was published by the University of Texas Press  three years later.
In Wier’s profile on the Academy of American Poets  Web site, John Ashbery  is quoted as saying of her work, "It may not be for the faint of heart—most intense experiences aren’t—but those who stay with it will find themselves face to face with a world whose eerily sharp focus suggests recent satellite photographs of Mars. And they will never be the same again."
Poets may submit any number of manuscripts (48 to 56 pages each) to the contest, with each entry accompanied by a twenty-five-dollar fee. The winners will be announced in September.