Established in 1978 to recognize and promote excellence in contemporary poetry by ensuring the publication of five books of poetry a year through a series of participating publishers. Five distinguished poets will each select one winning manuscript for publication from entries to the Open Competition. Each winner will receive $1,000.



The National Poetry Series Open Competition Award Increased to $10,000

The National Poetry Series (NPS) is pleased to announce that beginning in 2014, the five winners of the NPS Open Competition will each receive a $10,000 prize, along with the publication of their selected book. This increase has been made possible by a generous grant from the Lannan Foundation. 

Daniel Halpern writes, “Over the years, the Lannan Foundation has been one of the most significant literary forces in this country, contributing in ways that have had a huge impact on our literature and the lives of writers. Their unfailing support of NPS has made it possible to ensure the publication of many worthy collections of poetry—which in turn has kick-started the careers of numerous poets who have gone on to establish themselves as important voices in American poetry."

Now in its 36th year, NPS has seen 175 books into print, published by prominent trade, university, and independent publishing houses throughout the United States. Founded in 1978 by Halpern and James A. Michener, The National Poetry Series continues to fulfill its mission every year by overseeing the publication of new books of poetry that might not otherwise be published by providing support in the processes of manuscript solicitation, selection, and promotion.

Each year, more than 1,200 manuscripts are reviewed by highly regarded poets such as recent judges John Ashbery, Natasha Trethewey, Nikky Finney, Dean Young, D. Nurkse, Patricia Smith, and D.A. Powell.

Among the list of esteemed NPS winners are award-winning poets Billy Collins, Stephen Dunn, Mark Doty, Marie Howe, Nathaniel Mackey, Naomi Shihab Nye, Eleni Sikelianos, Terrance Hayes, and Adrian Matejka—finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize and 2013 National Book Award.

The Lannan Foundation, a family foundation in New Mexico that dedicates a great part of their funding to projects supporting contemporary writers, has been the largest benefactor of NPS for many years.

The first recipients of the $10,000 prizes are the recently announced winners of the 2014 NPS Open Competition: Simeon Berry for his book Monograph, chosen by Denise Duhamel, to be published by University of Georgia Press; Joshua Poteat for his book The Regret Histories, chosen by Campbell McGrath, to be published by HarperCollins; Ed Pavlic for his book Let’s Let That Are Not Yet : Inferno, chosen by John Keene, to be published by Fence Books; Nancy Reddy for her book Double Jinx, chosen by Alex Lemon, to be published by Milkweed Editions; and, Sarah Vap for her book Viability, chosen by Mary Jo Bang, to be published by Penguin Books. 


National Poetry Series in the News

Beginning in 2014, the five winners of the National Poetry Series Open Competition will each receive a $10,000 prize, along with the publication of their selected book. This increase has been made possible by a generous grant from the Lannan Foundation.

Read more about this exciting announcement below:  

The Poetry Foundation:
It’s BAAAACKK! National Poetry Series Is Still Writing the Book!

New York Times
Back From the Brink, Poetry Group Makes Cash Prizes Bigger Thanks to a Grant

Publishers Weekly:
National Poetry Series Ups Cash Prize

Announcing the Winners of The National Poetry Series 2014 Open Competition

The National Poetry Series is pleased to announce the results of the 2014 Open Competition.  The winning books are scheduled for publication in the summer of 2015.

Monograph by Simeon Berry of Somerville, MA, chosen by Denise Duhamel, to be published by University of Georgia Press

The Regret Histories by Joshua Poteat of Richmond, VA, chosen by Campbell McGrath, to be published by HarperCollins

Let's Let That Are Not Yet: Inferno by Ed Pavlić of Athens, GA, chosen by John Keene, to be published by Fence Books

Double Jinx by Nancy Reddy of Madison, WI, chosen by Alex Lemon, to be published by Milkweed Editions


Viability by Sarah Vap of Venice, CA, chosen by Mary Jo Bang, to be published by Penguin Books

Announcing the Paz Prize for Poetry 2014

The Center for Literature and Theatre@ Miami Dade College Announces The Paz Prize for Poetry 2014 Contest  

Miami, Jan. 16, 2014Calling all Poets! The Center @ Miami Dade College (MDC), in collaboration with The National Poetry Series, has announced the return of The Paz Prize for Poetry. The submission period for this year’s contest is May 1--June 15.

Named in honor of the late Nobel Prize-winning poet, Octavio Paz, the award recognizes a previously unpublished poetry book written in Spanish by a poet residing in the U.S. The winning book will be published in a bilingual edition by AkashicBooks, and its author will receive a $2,000 cash prize. Renowned Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco will serve as a judge.

“The stories of America’s diverse cultural landscape don’t come in just one language or one color. The Paz Prize recognizes this, and as such, I’m honored to serve as judge,” said Blanco.  “This important award bridges understanding through the power of poetry, and honors the value of Spanish-speaking cultures contributing their stories through the arts to the story of the United States.”

“We are very pleased to once again partner with The National Poetry Series to sponsor The Paz Prize for Poetry,” said Alina Interian, executive director of MDC's Cultural Affairs Department. “In our increasingly diverse nation, poetry in translation is not just desired but necessary. It allows for shared experience across cultures and great understanding, and even more beauty in the world.” 

The Paz Prize for Poetry was started in 2012 to commemorate The Center’s 10th anniversary and it’s renewed commitment to the advancement of literary and theater arts.The first winning title, Colaterales/Collateral by Dinapiera Di Donato, was recently released by Akashic Books to great acclaim.  “It's a remarkable collection of poems,” wrote Daniel Halpern, director and founder of The National Poetry Series.  “Unlike anything being written…always entrancing and seductive, line by line, poem after poem.” 

Members of the Advisory Board for the prize are Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros, Cristina Garcia, Mitchell Kaplan, Campbell McGrath, Pablo Medina,Gary Soto, IlanStavans, and Luisa Valenzuela.

“We are looking forward to the next round of the contest,” said Lissette Mendez, director of programs for the Center. “The discovery of new American voices is especially thrilling.”

For complete contest guidelines, please visit
thecenteratmdc.org, or www.nationalpoetryseries.org.

The National Poetry Series was established in 1978 by Daniel Halpern and James Michener to ensure the publication of five collections of poetry annually through participating publishers. More than 175 books have been awardedsince the Series' inception.

About The Center for Literature and Theatre @ Miami Dade College
The Center for Literature and Theatre @ Miami Dade College promotes reading, writing and theatre throughout South Florida. Its Generation Genius programs for children and teens promote literacy and learning. Its creative writing program has national appeal, with courses taught by local and visiting authors. The Center is home to Prometeo Theatre, the nation's leading Spanish language, conservatory-style program offering training for actors, and featuring performances year round. In 2012, the Center celebrated its tenth year with a renewed commitment to the advancement of literary and theater arts. The Center collaborates with a number of cultural institutions and other partners in South Florida, and throughout the state, to create innovative or theme-based initiatives year-round.  

The Center @ MDC media contact: Maria Lanao, Levy Communications, 305-764-3370 ext. 206, maria@levycomm.com.


Media-only contacts: Juan Mendieta, MDC director of communications, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, TereEstorino, MDC media relations director, 305-237-3949, testorin@mdc.edu, Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu; Kai Hill, 305-237-3359, khill1@mdc.edu; Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366, rromero3@mdc.edu or Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482, arios1@mdc.edu.

This and other MDC releases are available on the web at www.mdc.edu.

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