Archive April 2021

Deadline Approaches for the Backwaters Prize in Poetry

The Backwaters Prize in Poetry is accepting submissions. Established in 1998, the prize is awarded for a book-length poetry manuscript. The winning writer will receive $2,000, publication by the Backwaters Press, and 20 author copies. An honorable mention prize of $1,000 and publication by the Backwaters Press will also be given.

Using only the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 60 to 85 pages with a $30 entry fee by May 1. Huascar Medina will judge. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Founded in 1997, the Backwaters Press was acquired by the University of Nebraska Press (UNP) in 2018. Operating as a distinct imprint within UNP, Backwaters seeks to “plant its roots firmly in the Great Plains, delighting readers with literature of enduring value and consequence.” The winner of the 2020 prize was Nathaniel Perry for Long Rules: An Essay in Verse, which is forthcoming in November.

Cave Canem Poetry Prize Accepting Submissions

The deadline is approaching for the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Founded in 1999 to help discover “exceptional manuscripts by Black poets of African descent,” the prize celebrates a debut book of poetry by a Black writer. The winning writer will receive $1,000, a critique session with the prize judge, publication by Graywolf Press, fifteen author copies, and a reading event.

Using only the online submission system, submit a cover letter and a manuscript of 48 to 75 pages by April 30. Only writers who have not published a full-length book of poetry are eligible. Writers who have published chapbooks or who self-published books with limited print runs are eligible. Rachel Eliza Griffiths will judge. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The Cave Canem Foundation was established in 1996 with the ambition to “remedy the under-representation and isolation of African American poets in the literary landscape.” Cave Canem’s many programs include an annual writing retreat and numerous community-based workshops. The winner of the 2020 Cave Canem Poetry Prize was Aurielle Marie, whose book, Gumbo Ya Ya, is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press in fall 2021.