View Text Only Version

Poetry Center

Contests and Awards

Contact Us  

Poetry Center

Address:
720 South High Street
Main Hall, Rm 143
West Chester, PA 19383


Phone: 610-436-3235
Email: poetry@wcupa.edu

Contests and Awards

  • Female award recipient giving acceptance speech

For contest and award details please see the respective sections below.

Poetry Awards

Donald Justice Poetry Award

The distinguished American poet Donald Justice is recognized as one of the finest poets of the late twentieth century. The recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, Bollingen Prize, and numerous honors for his verse, Justice was a masterful and exacting craftsman, traits that define the prize named in his honor. The prize is made possible through the generosity of the Iris N. Spencer Poetry Award. The Justice Award welcomes unpublished, original book-length collections of poems that pay attention to form for consideration in the competition. The winner of the competition will receive $1,500, and have her/his manuscript published.

We ask that applicants adhere to the following guidelines.

  • The annual competition is open to all American poets regardless of whether they have previously published a book-length collection.
  • The manuscript should be between 50-100 typed pages in unbound, bound, or clipped form.
  • No more than one-third of the manuscript may consist of permission-secured or public domain translations.
  • The manuscript should contain two title pages: one with the collection's title, author's name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number; and the other with only the title.
  • There is a $25 entry fee for each manuscript submitted. Make payment to: Donald Justice Poetry Award-West Chester University.
  • 2018 Competition: All submissions for the 2018 competition may be sent after October 1, 2017 and must be postmarked no later than December 1, 2017.

Manuscripts should be mailed to:

    • WCU Poetry Awards
      720 S. High Street
      Main Hall, Rm 143
      West Chester University
      West Chester, PA 19383
    • Also send an electronic copy to: poetry@wcupa.edu.

Submitted manuscripts will not be returned. For notification of contest results, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

The winner will receive her/his prize, and give a public reading at the annual West Chester University Poetry Conference in early June 2018.

Donald Justice Biography

Iris N. Spencer Poetry Award

Created by Kean W. Spencer in honor of his mother, a reader and community servant, the award welcomes unpublished, original poems composed in the traditional modes of meter, rhyme and received forms and offers a first prize ($1,500), and a runner-up prize ($500).

We ask that applicants adhere to the following guidelines.

  • The annual competition is open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university.
  • The author's name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, and name of college or university attended should be submitted on a separate sheet.
  • There is no fee to enter. Submissions may be a combination of poems submitted to the Iris N. Spencer Award, the Myong Cha Son Haiku Award, or the Rhina P. Espaillat Poetry Award. Limit of three poems per contest.
  • All submissions must be postmarked or e-mailed no later than March 15, 2018.
  • Submissions should be mailed to:
    • WCU Poetry Awards
      720 S. High Street
      Main Hall, Rm 143
      West Chester University
      West Chester, PA 19383
  • Electronic submissions may be sent as an e-mail attachment to:
    poetry@wcupa.edu (put WCU Poetry Awards in the subject line).

Submitted poems will not be returned. For notification of contest results please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Iris Spencer

Myong Cha Son Haiku Award

Created by Kyle R. Spencer, and named for his mother-in-law, the award welcomes unpublished, original haiku and offers a first prize ($1,500) and a runner-up prize ($500).

We ask that applicants adhere to the following guidelines.

  • The annual competition is open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university.
  • The author's name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, and name of college or university attended should be submitted on a separate sheet.
  • There is no fee to enter. Submissions may be a combination of poems submitted to the Iris N. Spencer Award, the Myong Cha Son Haiku Award, or the Rhina P. Espaillat Poetry Award. Limit of two poems per contest.
  • All submissions must be postmarked or e-mailed no later than March 15, 2018.
  • Submissions should be mailed to:
    • WCU Poetry Awards
      720 S. High Street
      Main Hall, Rm 143
      West Chester University
      West Chester, PA 19383
  • Electronic submissions may be sent as an e-mail attachment to:
    poetry@wcupa.edu (put WCU Poetry Awards in the subject line).

Submitted poems will not be returned. For notification of contest results please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Myong Cha Son

Rhina P. Espaillat Award

Rhina P. Espaillat, born in the Dominican Republic, started writing poetry in Spanish and English after her family was exiled to the United States. She has published in both languages. This $500 undergraduate prize celebrates original poems written in Spanish and translations of English poems to Spanish.

Applicants for this prize are asked to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • The annual competition is open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university.
  • The author's name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, and name of college or university attended should be submitted on a separate sheet.
  • There is no fee to enter. Submissions may be a combination of poems submitted to the Iris N. Spencer Award, the Myong Cha Son Haiku Award, or the Rhina P. Espaillat Poetry Award. Limit of two poems per contest.
  • All submissions must be postmarked or e-mailed no later than March 15, 2018.
  • Submissions should be mailed to:
    • WCU Poetry Awards
      720 S. High Street
      Main Hall, Rm 143
      West Chester University
      West Chester, PA 19383
  • Electronic submissions may be sent as an e-mail attachment to:
    poetry@wcupa.edu (put WCU Poetry Awards in the subject line).

Submitted poems will not be returned. For notification of contest results please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Wil Mills Award

The Wil Mills Award is open to poets who have published chap books but have no full-linked collections. Awardee will receive a full scholarship to the 2018 Poetry Conference along with a $200 travel allowance.

Applicants for this prize are asked to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • There is a $20.00 entrance fee, made payable to Wil Mills
  • The author's name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, and name of college or university attended should be submitted on a separate sheet.
  • Please include chap book.
  • All submissions must be postmarked or e-mailed no later than March 15, 2018.
  • Submissions should be mailed to:
    • WCU Poetry Awards
      720 S. High Street
      Main Hall, Rm 143
      West Chester University
      West Chester, PA 19383
  • Electronic submissions may be sent as an e-mail attachment to:
    poetry@wcupa.edu (put Wil Mills Award in the subject line).

Submitted poems will not be returned. For notification of contest results please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.


2017 AWARD WINNERS

Ryan Wilson (Donald Justice Poetry Award)

Prize awarded for The Stranger World.

Ryan Wilson was born in Griffin, Georgia, and raised in nearby Macon. His poems, translations, and criticism appear widely, in journals such as 32 Poems, Able Muse, Dappled Things, First Things, the Hopkins Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Measure, Sewanee Theological Review, and Unsplendid. Recently he has been a finalist for the Vassar Miller Book Prize, the Morton Marr Poetry Prize, and the Frost Farm Poetry Prize, and he has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and awarded the Eleanor Clark Prize from the Robert Penn Warren Circle and the Walter Sullivan Prize for Promise in Criticism from the Sewanee Review. He holds graduate degrees from the Johns Hopkins University and Boston University, and he is currently a doctoral candidate at the Catholic University of America.

Brittney McDonald (Iris N. Spencer Poetry Award)

Brittney McDonald is a Cache Valley, Utah, native and is currently studying Creative Writing at Utah State University. She is President of her campus' creative writing club and has had poetry published in Vanilla Sex Magazine, Helicon West: An Anthology, and on broadsides and collections. Upon graduation in May of 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Brittney plans to work in Spain for a year in the school system as a Language Assistant.

Morgan Bilicki (Iris N. Spencer Poetry Award)

Morgan Bilicki is a Georgia native, and currently lives in a small town tucked between the mountains. She is studying Creative Writing at Young Harris College, and while her focus is in poetry, she enjoys reading and writing in every genre, with her work often exploring Southern family dynamics, ties to old objects, and feminist themes. When not writing, she can be found catering to her miniature schnauzer’s persistent demands.

Jacqueline Keshner (Myong Cha Son Haiku Award)

Jacqueline Keshner is a rising junior and an English Literature and Economics double major at the College of William & Mary. Her work has been honored by the Illinois Upstate Eight Conference, the Illinois Association of Teachers of English, and the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

MeiMei Liu (Myong Cha Son Haiku Award)

MeiMei Liu is a 22 year-old freshman at Whittier College, who has autism and is non-verbal. MeiMei is majoring in English with an emphasis in creative writing and is a student of Tony Barnstone. She was recently awarded first place in the Whittier College annual scholarly writing contest for her paper on Homer’s Odyssey.

Alejandro Lemus-Gomez (Rhina P. Espaillat Award)

Alejandro Lemus-Gomez is a junior English major and Philosophy minor at Young Harris College. Originally from Miami, FL, he moved to the North Georgia mountains to attain his bachelor's degree. His poetry reflects his experiences growing up as a Cuban-American and his transition from urban to rural life. When he is not writing or reading, he can found gardening, playing music, or crafting jewelry.