Poetry Contest

Guidelines for the 2020 Autumn House Poetry Contest

For the 2020 contest, the Autumn House staff serves as the preliminary readers, and the final judge is Ilya Kaminsky. The winner receives publication of a full-length manuscript and $2,500. The submission period opens January 1, 2020, and closes June 30, 2020 (Eastern Time).

  • The winners will receive book publication, $1,000 advance against royalties, and a $1,500 travel/publicity grant to promote their book
  • All finalists will be considered for publication
  • Poetry submissions should be approximately 50-80 pages
  • Each new poem should start on a new page
  • Illustrations are discouraged
  • The reading fee for the Poetry Contest is $30
  • Submission should be previously unpublished
  • Please don’t include your name anywhere on the actual manuscript
  • Include a brief bio in the “cover letter” section of Submittable
  • Feel free to include a table of contents and acknowledgments page
  • Simultaneous submissions permitted

If you have any questions, please check our FAQ page.


Winners of the Autumn House Poetry Prize

2019makalani bandeleunder the aegis of a winged mindCornelius Eady
2018Charles KellCage of Lit GlassKimiko Hahn
2017Melissa Cundieff Darling NovaAlberto Ríos
2016Jane SatterfieldApocalypse MixDavid St. John
2015Brian SwannSt. Francis and the FliesDorianne Laux
2014Ellery AkersPracticing the TruthAlicia Ostriker
2013Danusha LamerisThe Moons of AugustNaomi Shihab Nye
2012Chelsea RathburnA Raft of GriefStephen Dunn
2011Brian BrodeurNatural CausesDenise Duhamel
2010Corrinne Clegg HalesTo Make It RightClaudia Emerson
2009Jacqueline BergerThe Gift that Arrives BrokenAlicia Ostriker
2008Mary Crockett HillA Theory of EverythingNaomi Shihab Nye
2007Miriam LevineThe Dark OpensMark Doty
2006Nancy PaghNo Sweeter FatTim Seibles
2005Ada Limonlucky wreckJean Valentine
2004Ruth L. SchwartzDear Good Naked MorningAlicia Ostriker
2003Deborah SlicerThe White Calf KicksNaomi Shihab Nye