Entries sought for annual poetry prize

2017 POETS PRIZE WINNER — Elizabeth Ensink’s (’17) “Coelacanth” won the poets prize in last year’s competition, with Grace Hulderman’s (’18) “Flower-Body” given honorable mention.


Hope College’s English Department is calling all poets to enter submissions for the Academy of American Poets Prize.

The Hope College Academy of American Poets (AAP) Prize award is funded by the University and College Poetry Prize program of the AAP. The academy began the program in 1955 at 10 schools and now sponsors nearly 200 annual prizes for poetry at colleges and universities nationwide. Poets honored through the program have included Mark Doty, Louise Gluck, Joy Harjo, Robert Hass, Robert Pinsky, Sylvia Plath, Gjertrud Schnackenberg and Charles Wright.

The 2018 judge will be poet Lauren Haldeman, who came for the JRVWS in February. She is the author of “Instead of Dying,” winner of the 2017 Colorado Prize for Poetry, “Calendry” and the artist book “The Eccentricity is Zero.” Her work has appeared or is  forthcoming in “Tin House,” “The Colorado Review,” “Fence,” “The Iowa Review” and “The Rumpus.” A comic book artist and poet, she has taught in the U.S. as well as internationally, including a reading and lecture tour of South Africa by the U.S. Department of State.

The prize is open to all students currently enrolled at Hope. An award check in the amount of $100 will go to the winner, as well as a one-year membership to the Academy of American Poets and a subscription to the magazine “American Poets.”

Last year’s winnner was Elizabeth Ensink with her poem “Coelacanth.” Last year’s judge was Brian Barker, author of “Animal Gossips” and “The Black Ocean.” His poems and interviews have appeared in journals such as American Poetry Review and Pleiades.

Barker shared, “The poem surprised me more than once with its metaphoric and narrative leaps that weave together an examination of  being, beauty, race, ethnicity and belonging. An ambitious poem.”

The guidelines are: One submission per poet of one to two poems that do not exceed four pages. Please do not staple your submission together. Please submit the poems anonymously; no identifying information should appear anywhere on the poem. The submission should include a cover sheet with the following  information: “Hope College Academy of American Poets Prize” at the top with your name, address, phone number, email, summer address, phone number and email following. A list of the title(s) of the poem(s) must appear on the cover sheet. Paperclip the cover sheet to your poem(s). Submit the poem and cover sheet to the Hope College Department of English on the third floor of Lubbers by noon on Friday.

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