Hearst Poetry Prize

Contest Information:

All winners and finalists will be published in the Spring 2017 issue.
First Prize: $1000
Second Prize: $100
Third Prize: $50

2017 Hearst Judge:
Major Jackson

Deadline: October 31st, 2016
Entry fee: $20.00

All entry fees include a one-year subscription. This year, all submissions to the James Hearst Poetry Prize will be handled through our online submission system.

If you are unable to upload your submission, please call us at 319-273-3026 for other entry options.

Rules: You may enter up to five poems in one file. No names on manuscripts, please. Your poems will be “read blind.” Simultaneous submission to other journals or competitions is not allowed.

If you wish to receive the list of winners, please state this in your cover letter and be sure to supply an email address. Winners will also be announced in writers’ trade magazines and on this website.

Tips: We have noticed that long poems rarely do well—too much can go wrong in a large space. Poems that have reached the finalist stage in our competition in the past are typically one to two pages (often much shorter). Winning poems always balance interesting subject matter and consummate poetic craft. We value both free verse and formal poems in rhyme and meter—both open and closed forms.
Questions? email nar@uni.eduphone 319-273-6455 • fax 319-273-4326

Congratulations to our 2016 James Hearst winners


Judge: Jane Hirshfield

The 2016 Hearst Prize winners were
published in issue 301.2

First Place: Rebecca Foust, “Iconostatis

Second Place:
Mark Wagenaar, “Denton
Nocturne: Sciomancy”
Third Place: Raphael Dagold, “Born of What

Honorable Mention: Leila Chatti, “Grief
Honorable Mention: Karen Harryman, “Gauge
Honorable Mention: Chelsea Wagenaar, “Rent


Amy Bagan, “Radar”
Eric Berlin, “Consistency”
Melanie Drane, “When Everything Seems a Message”
Michael Gessner, “To History—”
Mariette Landry, “For the Wax Anniversary”
Christine Larusso, “In order to crack the egg while
preserving the yolk”
Scott Lawrence-Richards, “Spring Thaw”
Angela Redmond-Theodore, “Extreme Unction”
Lauren Schmidt, “The Room Toss Villanelle”
Mary Jo Thompson, “What the Woman Waited For”
Seth Brady Tucker, “Our Many Consequences,
Like Heads”

hix 150 x 1752013payton 150 x 175

Judge: H. L. Hix

First Place: Andrew Payton
“Bad May”



espada 150 x 1752012

Judge: Martín Espada

First Place: Ansel Elkins
“Mississippi Pastoral”