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Note: Awards 1-5 are open only to PSA Members

1. The Writer Magazine/Emily Dickinson Award

Given by the PSA to honor the memory and poetry of Emily Dickinson, for a poem inspired by Dickinson though not necessarily in her style. Line limit: 30

Pulitzer Prize for Poetry | The TS Eliot Prize

2. Cecil Hemley Memorial Award

Established by Jack Stadler, former Treasurer of the PSA, and his late wife, Ralynn Stadler, for a lyric poem that addresses a philosophical or epistemological concern. Line limit: 100

3. Lyric Poetry Award

Established under the will of PSA member Mrs. Consuelo Ford (Althea Urn), and also in memory of Mary Carolyn Davies, for a lyric poem on any subject. Line limit: 50

4. Lucille Medwick Memorial Award

Established by Maury Medwick in memory of his wife, the poet and editor, for an original poem in any form on a humanitarian theme. Line limit: 100

5. Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award

Offered in memory of a benefactor and friend of the PSA, and partially endowed by the Estate of Rachel Dalven, for a manuscript-in-progress of poetry or verse-drama. The cover page for this submission must include a one-paragraph description of the project. Finalists will be asked to submit additional material. Previously published work may be included in your submission; include acknowledgement of publications on your cover page. Poems entered as part of a Di Castagnola manuscript may be entered individually in other PSA contests, but not if they are previously published. Line limit: 300 lines of verse; one sample scene, 20 pages or less, if verse-drama

PSA Member/Non-Member Awards

Awards 6-10 are open to all eligible poets and publishers

6. Louise Louis/Emily F. Bourne Student Poetry Award

Endowed under the wills of Louise Louis Whitbread and Ruth M. Bourne, this prize is awarded for the best unpublished poem by a student in grades 9 through 12 from the United States. School attended, as well as name and address, should be noted on the cover page. High school students may send single entries, and high school teachers or administrators may submit an unlimited number of their students' poems (one submission per student—see Entry Fees, above). Line limit: none

7. George Bogin Memorial Award

Established by the family and friends of George Bogin for a selection of four or five poems that uses language in an original way to reflect the encounter of the ordinary and the extraordinary and to take a stand against oppression in any of its forms. Line limit: none

8. Robert H. Winner Memorial Award

Established by the family and friends of Robert H. Winner, whose first book of poems appeared when he was almost fifty years old. This award acknowledges original work being done in midcareer by a poet who has not had substantial recognition, and is open to poets over forty who have published no more than one book. Send a brief but cohesive manuscript of 10 poems (up to 20 pages). Please include year of birth on cover page. Previously published work may be included in your submission; include acknowledgement of publications on your cover page. Poems entered as part of a Winner manuscript may be entered individually in other PSA contests, but not if they are previously published

Awards 9 & 10

Books must be submitted directly by publishers. Entry forms are required. Please email, write or call Rebecca Wolff, Programs Associate at the PSA, to request a form (; 212-254-9628). There is a $20 entry fee per book. No book may be submitted to both contests

9. Norma Farber First Book Award

Established by the family and friends of Norma Farber, poet and author of children's books, for a first book of original poetry written by an American and published in either a hard or soft cover in a standard edition during the calendar year. Winning books are distributed to PSA members at the Patron level or above

10. William Carlos Williams Award

Purchase Prize Between $500 and $1,000
Endowed by the family and friends of Geraldine Clinton Little, a poet and author of short stories and former vice-president of the PSA, this prize is for a book of poetry published by a small press, non-profit or university press. Original works by a single author who is a permanent resident of the United States will be considered. Translations are ineligible, as are chapbooks. Winning books are distributed to PSA Lyric Circle Members

Awards 11 and 12 are by nomination only

11. The Frost Medal

Awarded annually at the discretion of the PSA's Board of Governors, for distinguished lifetime service to American poetry. Since 1995, the recipient of the Frost Medal has delivered The Frost Medal Lecture, a retrospective reading and talk that is the highlight of the Annual Awards Ceremony

Robert Frosthonored with the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry four times: 1943, 1937, 1931, 1924, Edgar Lee Masters, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Marianne Moore, and Wallace Stevens have all been honored by the Poetry Society of America with this Award. The Frost Medal has recently been awarded to A. R. Ammons, John Ashbery, Gwendolyn Brooks, Barbara Guest, Donald Hall, Anthony Hecht, Josephine Jacobsen, Stanley Kunitz, James Laughlin, Denise Levertov, Adrienne Rich, William Stafford, and Richard Wilbur

The $2,500 prize is provided for by a contribution from Jack Stadler, PSA Treasurer Emeritus

12. The Shelley Memorial Award

Between $6,000 and $9,000
Established by the will of the late Mary P. Sears in 1929 and given by nomination only, the Shelley is awarded to a living American poet, selected with reference to his or her genius and need, by a jury of three poets—one appointed by the President of Radcliffe, one by the president of the University of California at Berkeley, and one by the PSA Board of Governors

Recent winners of this award have included Frank Bidart, Lucille Clifton, Shirley Kaufman, Etheridge Knight, Kenneth Koch, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Cathy Song, Tom Sleigh, Eleanor Ross Taylor, Jean Valentine, Mona Van Duyn, and Anne Waldman.

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