The Academy of American Poets has a long history of championing the role of poet laureate, including by being a resource listing local poets laureate and providing information to communities interested in creating new poets laureate positions.

In 2019, we expanded on this work, and our prizes and fellowships for poets, by launching the Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships. These $50,000 awards are given to honor poets of literary merit appointed to serve in civic positions and to support them in creating new work, as well as to enable them to undertake meaningful, impactful, and innovative projects that enrich the lives of their neighbors, including youth, through responsive and interactive poetry activities.

In addition to the other eligibility and application criteria, the concept, scope, components, depth, geographic reach, and community support of the proposed project will be considered by a panel of award-winning poets and leaders in poetry and civic engagement. The panelists who will recommend the recipients of 2024 Poet Laureate Fellowships are Asari Beale, Executive Director of Teachers & Writers Collaborative; Nora Halpern, art historian, curator, and former Vice President at Americans for the Arts; Porsha Olayiwola, poet laureate of Boston; Airea D. Matthews, former poet laureate of Philadelphia; and Olivia Morgan, the founder of National Student Poets. Final award decisions will be approved and finalized by members of the Academy of American Poets Board of Directors.

The fellowships were established in partnership with the Mellon Foundation. Read more about the 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 Poet Laureate Fellows and their civic projects.

Applications for the 2024 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships are accepted from January 31, 2024 until April 8, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET.


 


ELIGIBILITY

Any poet who meets the below criteria as of January 31, 2024 in the fellowship award year is eligible:

  1. 21 years of age or older; 
  2. Appointed as an official poet laureate of a state, city, county, U.S. territory, or Tribal nation by a Governor, State Arts or Humanities Council, State Poet Laureate Commission, Tribe President, Mayor, City Council, City Poet Laureate Commission, City Arts Board, County Arts Board, or a city’s public library system; 
  3. Your service as poet laureate, carried out in good community standing, occurring sometime between January 31, 2024 and June 30, 2025; 
  4. Published one or more full-length poetry collection(s) and/or chapbook(s) (excluding books that are self-published and/or published with a subsidy press that requires payment by the author) or substantial history of public spoken word performances;
  5. Substantial publication history in a variety of journals and media, or of public spoken word performances; 
  6. Recognition in the field (including literary awards, prizes, grants, residencies, and fellowships);
  7. Demonstrated commitment to promoting awareness of poetry; and,
  8. Correctly completed application submitted by the deadline.


 

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Please upload to Submittable the following:

  1. A letter certifying that you are the official poet laureate of a state, city, county, U.S. territory, or Tribal nation, as appointed by a Governor, State Arts or Humanities Council, State Poet Laureate Commission, Tribe President, Mayor, City Council, City Poet Laureate Commission, City Arts Board, County Arts Board, or a city’s public library system. The letter must also include your date of appointment and your final date of service as poet laureate; 
  2. Your curriculum vitae (no more than three pages), which includes your name and current contact information, and information such as your current and past employment, publication history, awards, performances and readings, past public poetry projects, and education;
  3. A 5-page sample of original poems, new or previously published (including publication information). Performance or spoken word poets may submit a document (PDF or Word file) with links to audio and/or video recordings of their work sample;
  4. A 1- to 2-page detailed description of your proposed civic project(s), including a timeline for the project(s) you would conduct between July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025, that engages youth and/or addresses important statewide or local issues, including the anticipated reach or impact (please see the 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 Poet Laureate Fellows and their projects);
  5. A budget for your proposed civic project(s). Please see a budget template here and note that in 2024, the total fellowship award is $50,000. Your budget should not include an honorarium for your time working on your civic project(s) and should not exceed $15,000. The remainder of the fellowship funds is intended to support an honorarium for your time working on your civic project(s) and your own literary work;
  6. Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to your ability and capacity to carry out your proposed project or projects, and their contact information.
  7. If you are able to secure in-kind support from local 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations (e.g. staff time, venue rental, promotion on a website and/or social media, etc.), with which you do not have a conflict of interest (e.g. you are not an employee or Board member), in support of your project, the Academy will match the amount up to $10,000 in a financial contribution to the nonprofit(s) if you are awarded an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship. Please provide a letter from the nonprofit organizations, which includes their contact information, confirming the details of their contribution. We encourage collaborations with the State Centers for the Book
  8. Alternatively, if you are able to secure a contribution of up to a total of $10,000 in cash in support of your project from a local foundation(s) or business(es) (not owned or operated by a relative and with a legitimate physical address, phone number, and website), we will provide a matching amount to you after their disbursement in addition to fellowship funds if you are awarded a Poets Laureate Fellowship. Please provide a letter from the foundation(s) or business(es), which includes their contact information, confirming the details of their contribution.

 

Please note: 

Only one type of support, either in-kind or cash, will be matched up to $10,000.

Online submissions are accepted for the 2024 Poet Laureate Fellowships through our submission manager, Submittable. For questions about using Submittable, please visit: https://submittable.help/en/articles/904856-how-do-i-submit.

The Academy of American Poets assumes no responsibility for applications not received due to user error. Applicants may verify the receipt of their application materials by logging into Submittable.

All correspondence concerning the fellowships and applications should be addressed to the Academy of American Poets. Current poets laureate with questions about this opportunity are encouraged to contact awards@poets.org

Poets laureate within a state may submit a collaborative application. We encourage you to contact us at awards@poets.org before doing so. 

If you need accommodation for accessibility, please contact awards@poets.org.

It’s the mission of the Academy of American Poets to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry. In furtherance of our mission, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of quality and integrity in our publications and programs, and expect and require the same from the poets with whom we collaborate.

All applicants and selected fellows agree that, as part of their eligibility to serve as a fellow, they will maintain the highest standards of fairness, decency and personal integrity, in the Academy’s sole discretion, including with adherence to all applicable laws and community values. The decisions of the Academy of American Poets as to eligibility, both initial and throughout the award period, are final.

By law the Academy of American Poets must report cash prizes awarded to individuals to the Internal Revenue Service. If individuals have a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), the individual will receive a 1099. If the individual does not have an SSN or ITIN, the individual will receive a 1042 and could be subject to a withholding of a percentage of the cash award.

Applicants will be notified of the 2024 award results by June 30, 2024. 

$75.00

Established in 1975, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize is a $25,000 award that recognizes the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous calendar year. The prize includes a ten-day residency at Glen Hollow in Naples, New York, and distribution of the winning book to hundreds of Academy of American Poets members.

The Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize honors the memory of Lenore Marshall (1897-1971), a poet, novelist, essayist, and political activist. She was the author of three novels, three books of poetry, a collection of short stories, and selections from her notebooks. Her work appeared in such distinguished literary magazines as The New Yorker, The Saturday Review, and Partisan Review. In 1956 she helped found the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, the citizens’ organization that lobbied successfully for passage of the 1963 partial nuclear test ban treaty. In 1994, the Academy was selected by the New Hope Foundation to administer the award.

Submissions are accepted January 1, 2024 through May 15, 2024 (11:59 p.m. ET). The judges for the 2024 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize are Kyle Dargan, Yesenia Montilla, and D. A. Powell.

 For questions, please contact awards@poets.org.


2024 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize Eligibility Guidelines

  • Any poet who meets one of the below criteria on the date of the application deadline, in any given year, is eligible: U.S. Citizen; resident of the United States for the ten-year period prior to the submission deadline, or; Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Legal Permanent Status (LPS), or any subsequent categories designated by the U.S. authorities as conferring similar enhanced status upon non-citizens living in the United States.
  • Books must be submitted in the year after their publication, which means that books published in 2024 may not be submitted for consideration until 2025.
  • The 2024 contest is open to any book of original poetry, in English, published in the United States during 2023 in a standard edition (48 pages or more) by a living poet.
  • Self-published books are not eligible.
  • Translations and new editions of previously published books are not eligible.
  • Publishers may submit as many titles as they wish.
  • To submit an entry, publishers must upload a PDF copy to Submittable. A $75 entry fee and completed entry form via Submittable signifying the publisher’s acceptance of these guidelines is required for each title submitted. 
  • The winner will be announced in September 2024.
  • The Academy of American Poets agrees to purchase approximately two hundred copies of the winning book for distribution to its members. The Academy may purchase additional copies of the book for its own use, but not for resale. No royalties will be paid to the author on the copies purchased by the Academy. The publisher agrees to sell to the Academy of American Poets the number of copies requested at a standard paper, printing, and binding, or at-cost discount.
  • The decisions of the Academy of American Poets as to eligibility are final. Books will not be returned.

Please note: By law the Academy of American Poets must report cash prizes awarded to individuals to the Internal Revenue Service. If individuals have a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), the individual will receive a 1099. If the individual does not have an SSN or ITIN, the individual will receive a 1042 and could be subject to a withholding of a percentage of the cash prize.

Offered since 1954, the James Laughlin Award is given to recognize and support a second book of poetry forthcoming in the next calendar year. The award was endowed in 1995 by a gift to the Academy from the Drue Heinz Trust. It is named for the poet and publisher James Laughlin (1914-1997), who founded New Directions in 1936.

The winning poet receives a prize of $5,000, an all-expenses-paid weeklong residency at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, and distribution of the winning book to approximately one thousand Academy of American Poets members.

Submissions are accepted from January 1, 2024 to May 15, 2024 (11:59 p.m. ET). The judges for the 2024 James Laughlin Award are Tarfia Faizullah, Keetje Kuipers, and Barbara Jane Reyes.

For questions, contact awards@poets.org.
 


2024 James Laughlin Award - Eligibility Guidelines

  • The James Laughlin Award is given to honor a second full-length print book of original poetry, in English, by a living poet, forthcoming in the next calendar year.
  • Any poet who meets one of the below criteria on the date of the application deadline, in any given year, is eligible to apply: U.S. Citizen; resident of the United States for the ten-year period prior to the submission deadline, or; Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Legal Permanent Status (LPS), or any subsequent categories designated by the U.S. authorities as conferring similar enhanced status upon non-citizens living in the United States.
  • To be eligible, a book must be under contract with a U.S. publisher and scheduled to be published between January 1, 2025, and December 31, 2025. Winning books must be published by December 31, 2025.
  • To be eligible, an author must have published one book of poetry in a standard edition (48 pages or more). The publication of chapbooks (less than 48 pages) does not disqualify an author.
  • Entries must be at least 48 pages total (suggested length: 48 to 100 pages).
  • Entries must be submitted in manuscript form (or page proofs) so the jury can review them without considering the books’ design. Galleys will not be accepted.
  • To submit an entry, publishers must upload a PDF copy of the manuscript to Submittable. A completed entry form via Submittable signifying the publisher’s acceptance of these guidelines is required for each title submitted.
  • There is no fee to enter.
  • The winner will be announced in September 2024.
  • The author’s name should not be included in running heads or appear on any page. Acknowledgements may be included.
  • Submissions are welcome from small presses, university presses, and trade publishers that have previously published at least four books of poetry.
  • Translations and new editions of previously published books are not eligible.
  • Each entry must be accompanied by a completed entry form via Submittable signifying the publisher’s acceptance of these guidelines. The winner will be announced in September.
  • The Academy of American Poets agrees to purchase approximately one thousand copies of the winning book for distribution to its members. The Academy of American Poets may purchase additional copies of the book for its own use, but not for resale. No royalties will be paid to the author on the copies purchased by the Academy of American Poets. The publisher agrees to sell to the Academy of American Poets the number of copies requested at a standard paper, printing, and binding, or at-cost discount.
  • The publisher agrees to announce and publish the winning book as the Academy of American Poets James Laughlin Award Winner. The publisher also agrees to include a seal on all of the books, identifying the winning book as such. The Academy of American Poets will provide the publisher with the seal design as an electronic file. Any subsequent reprintings of the book must comply with the aforementioned stipulations.
  • The decisions of the Academy of American Poets regarding eligibility are final.

Please note: By law the Academy of American Poets must report cash prizes awarded to individuals to the Internal Revenue Service. If individuals have a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), the individual will receive a 1099. If the individual does not have an SSN or ITIN, the individual will receive a 1042 and could be subject to a withholding of a percentage of the cash prize.

Academy of American Poets