Each year, the University of Akron Press offers the Akron Poetry Prize, a competition open to all poets writing in English. The winning poet receives $1,500 and publication of their book as part of the Akron Series in Poetry. The final selection will be made by a nationally prominent poet. Other manuscripts may also be considered for publication in the series. We will accept submissions for the 2023 Akron Poetry Prize competition from April 15, 2023 through June 15, 2023. The final judge for 2023 is Sandra Beasley.
Guidelines for Submission
1. Manuscripts must be a total length of at least 48 pages and no longer than 90 pages. Individual poems may have appeared in chapbooks or literary magazines, but we are unable to consider collections that have been previously published as a full-length volume. Translations are not eligible.
2. Manuscripts must not include identifying information, but should have a title page, and may include an acknowledgments page listing poems previously published in periodicals (if applicable). Please do not submit manuscripts that have the author's name on each page, or any biographical information. Manuscripts will go to the judge without identifying information. Be sure that your Submittable account reflects your updated contact information, as we will use this information when contacting you.
3. Manuscripts will be accepted via Submittable between April 15 and June 15 of each year. Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but The University of Akron Press must be notified immediately if the manuscript is accepted elsewhere. Multiple submissions are accepted. Please note that once submitted, manuscripts cannot be modified by the author.
4. An entry fee of $25 is required for each manuscript submission, and will be collected through Submittable.
6. Intimate friends, relatives, current and former students of the final judge (students in an academic, degree-conferring program or its equivalent), and current faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the University of Akron or the Northeast Ohio MFA Program (NEOMFA) are not eligible to enter the Akron Poetry Prize competition.
2023 Final Judge
Sandra Beasley is the author of four poetry collections—Made to Explode, Count the Waves, I Was the Jukebox, which won the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Theories of Falling—as well as Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a disability memoir and cultural history of food allergies. She served as the editor for Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance. Honors for her work include the 2019 Munster Literature Centre’s John Montague International Poetry Fellowship, a 2015 NEA fellowship, and six DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities fellowships. She lives in Washington, DC.