R172. Hitting the Jackpot: How Judges Select Winning Poetry Collections

Florida Salon 1, 2, & 3, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Submitting poetry manuscripts to book contests can be time consuming and costly, but this process is how many first books are published. As the reading fees add up, you may feel like you’re feeding money into a slot machine. Is there any rhyme or reason to the selection process? Our panelists discuss their experiences judging contests, revealing the qualities that drew them to manuscripts, submission pitfalls to avoid, and insights to help you improve your odds of winning a book contest.


Josephine Yu is the author of Prayer Book of the Anxious. She won the New Letters 2010 Poetry Award, New Letters 2010–2011 Readers Award for Poetry, Meridian’s 2010 Editor’s Prize, Ploughshares' 2013 Emerging Writer's Contest, and the 15th Annual Elixir Press Poetry Award.

Kim Addonizio's latest books are a collection of poems, Mortal Trash, and a memoir, Bukowski in a Sundress. She is the author of six other poetry collections, two novels, and two books on writing poetry: The Poet's Companion (with Dorianne Laux) and Ordinary Genius.

David Kirby's collection The House on Boulevard St.: New and Selected Poems was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2007. His latest poetry collection is Get Up, Please. www.davidkirby.com.

Jane Satterfield has published five books, including Apocalypse Mix, winner of the 2016 Autumn House Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of an NEA poetry fellowship, the 49th Parallel Poetry Prize, Ledbury Festival Poetry Prize, and more. She is an associate professor at Loyola University Maryland.

Vandana Khanna is the author of two books of poetry: Train to Agra and Afternoon Masala as well as a chapbook, The Goddess Monologues. She teaches at the University of Southern California.


March 27–30, 2019
Portland, OR

Oregon Convention Center