West Chester University Poetry Center Announces Award Winners for 24th Annual Poetry Conference

The Poetry Center at West Chester University today announced winners for the 24th Annual Poetry Conference: SETTING OUT FOR THE SUBLIME: Voice, Verse & Craft, June 5 – 8, 2019.

Four awards, accompanied by cash prizes, are administered by the West Chester University Poetry Center to recognize excellence in poetry. Hundreds of poems from 65 colleges and universities from across the country were submitted for consideration. In all, $7,000 in prize money will be awarded to 9 recipients. All award winners are invited to read their works at a celebratory ceremony during the poetry conference.

The West Chester University Poetry Conference (WCUPC) is the nation’s only all-poetry writing conference dedicated to formal verse. It is considered the premiere conference for formal poetry and versification. Workshops in traditional poetic craft, and a national forum to discuss major trends in contemporary poetry, draw poets from around the world each year.

Events take place at the Sykes Student Union at West Chester University, 110 W. Rosedale Avenue. Information and registration details can be found at https://www.wcupa.edu/poetry.

Donald Justice Poetry Award - 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 The Justice Award recognizes unpublished, original book-length collections of poems that pay attention to form for consideration in the competition.

Winner: Katherine Barrett Swett receives $1,500 in prize money and will have her winning manuscript, Voice Message, published by Autumn House Press.

Judge: Erica Dawson

Iris N. Spencer Poetry Award - This award recognizes unpublished, original poems composed in the traditional modes of meter, rhyme and received forms.

First Place Winner: Alecc Costanzi of West Chester University receives $1,500 for Arcom.

Second Place Winner: Eliza Browning of Wheaton College receives $500 for The Things We Cannot Touch.

Myong Cha Son Haiku Poems - This award recognizes unpublished, original haiku.

Winner: Ariel Horton of Whittier College receives $1,500 for I (kissing you is like…)

Runner Up: MaKenzee Gossett of Lee University receives $500 for Icarus Complex.

Runner Up:  Zach Pellis of Washington and Jefferson College receives $500 for Down on the Beach.

Honorable Mention: Eliza Browning of Wheaton College receives $250 for (Scent of citrus and…)

Rhina P. Espaillat Poems - This prize is open to undergraduates in a U.S. college or university and celebrates original poems written in Spanish and translations of English poems to Spanish.

First Place Winner: Janie McNeil of West Chester University receives $500 for El Nacimiento/The Birth.

Second Place Winner: Janie McNeil of West Chester University receives $250 for Compartiendo la culpa/Sharing the Blame.

Judge: Rhina P. Espaillat

The West Chester University Poetry Center was created in 2000 to further the study and appreciation of Poetry. The Poetry Center offers an active, interesting and diverse slate of activities, all to expand its mission of bringing poetry to an ever-widening audience. The Center’s signature event is the annual Poetry Conference, which offers workshops in poetic craft, and provides a national forum to discuss trends and recognize achievement.


Back to top of page.