James Hearst Poetry Prize

James Hearst

2023 Contest Information

 

  • Open for submission: August 1, 2022
  • Deadline: November 1, 2022
  • Entry fee: $23.00
  • First Prize: $1000
  • 2023 Judge: Paul Guest
  • Winner and finalists will be published in the Spring 2023 issue.
  • All entry fees include a copy of the contest issue.

 

Rules: 

  • All submissions to the James Hearst Poetry Prize will be handled through our online submission system.
  • 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 allowed with notice should your poems be accepted elsewhere.
  • Winners will also be announced on this website and authors will be notified by a message in Submittable.
  • Current University of Northern Iowa students are not eligible to submit.
  • Friends of the guest judge and the contest coordinator are not eligible to submit.
  • All submissions are read by the contest coordinator as well as by fifteen or more North American Review contest readers, most of whom are undergraduate or graduate students at UNI. They select a slate of semifinalists, then finalists, from this submission pool. All finalists are sent to the prize judge.
  • Our prize judge selects a winner and runner-up from the slate of finalists. All finalists and semifinalists will be listed in the magazine and on Open Space.
  • The contest coordinator may offer publication—in a future issue of North American Review and/or on Open Space—to notable poems.
  • Regular poetry submissions will be closed while our James Hearst Poetry Prize is open. The poetry prize will remain open until November 1st. We are open to regular poetry submissions from November 2 - May 1 and are closed in the months of May, June and July.

 

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.

 

Congratulations to our past James Hearst Prize winners!


2022

Judge:

Natalie Diaz

 

Natalie Diaz

First Place:

J. K. Tsosie

"1997 Southside"

J. K. Tsosie

 

2021 

Judge:

Maggie Smith

 

Maggie Smith

First Place:

Kirsten Abel

"Geneva Avenue"

Kirsten Abel

2020 

Judge:

Ilya Kaminsky

 

Ilya Kaminsky

First Place:

Katy Aisenberg

"The Invention of Ether"

Katy Aisenberg

2019 

Judge:

Dana Levin

 

Dana Levin

First Place:

Alan Elyshevitz

"Bread"

Alan Elyshevitz

2018 

Judge:

Eduardo C. Corral

 

Eduardo Corral

2017 

Judge:

Major Jackson

 

Major Jackson

First Place:

Jordan Franklin

"Black Boy"

Jordan Franklin

2016 

Judge:

Jane Hirshfield

 

Jane Hirshfield

First Place:

Rebecca Foust

"Iconostasis"

Rebecca Foust

2015 

Judge:

D. A. Powell

 

D. A. Powell

First Place:

Michael Kriesel

"Aleister Crowley Lipogram"

Michael Kriesel

2014 

Judge:

Mary Swander

 

Mary Swander

First Place:

Martha Silano

"Ode to Frida Kahlo’s Eyebrows"

Martha Silano

2013 

Judge:

H. L. Hix

 

H. L. Hix

First Place:

Andrew Payton

"Bad May"

Andrew Payton

2012 

Judge:

Martín Espada

 

Martin Espada

First Place:

Ansel Elkins

"Mississippi Pastoral"

Ansel Elkins