F165. Verses Versus Verses: Perspectives on Poetry Contests

Aspen Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor
Friday, February 28, 2014
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


In 1950, the Yale Series of Younger Poets was the only contest for book-length poetry manuscripts in the United States. Today there are more than 300, and conventional wisdom holds that winning one is the best way to get a first or second book published. A panel of poets with vast and diverse experience founding, running, entering, winning, and losing such contests will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the system, and offer insights into how to succeed within it, or without it.



Eric McHenry teaches creative writing at Washburn University. His books of poetry include Potscrubber Lullabies, which received the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and Mommy Daddy Evan Sage, a children’s book illustrated by Nicholas Garland.

Joseph Harrison has published two books of poetry, Someone Else's Name and Identity Theft. He is the Senior American Editor for The Waywiser Press, the contest coordinator for the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, and the editor of The Hecht Prize Anthology.

Sandra Beasley is the author of Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life; I Was the Jukebox, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize; and Theories of Falling, winners of New Issues Poetry Prize. Her work has been in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Oxford American.

Dora Malech is the author of two books of poems, Say So and Shore Ordered Ocean. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The New Yorker, Poetry, and Tin House.

David Hassler


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center