Calling all Midwest Poets: Milkweed Editions’ Poetry Contest Opened

Courtesy Milkweed Editions

Are you a poet living in Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakotas, Wisconsin, or Michigan? If so, there’s a competition out there just for you: Minneapolis-based Milkweed Editions has just opened its Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry to submissions.

The Ballard prize, which includes $10,000 and publication of the winner’s poetry, was established in 2011 with the goal of supporting and promoting poets from the upper Midwest and sharing their work with the rest of the country. The prize also includes national distribution as well as a robust publicity campaign. The winner will be announced in April, with a book launch celebration slated for November 2020.

This year’s judge is Aimee Nezhukumatathil, an English professor at the University of Mississippi, author of four collections of poems, and a grant recipient from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her writing has appeared in Poetry, the New York Times Magazine, ESPN, and Tin House

Patrick Johnson won the 2019 prize for Gatekeeper, a debut volume of verse that explores the ominous inner workings of the dark web. 

Applications are being accepted now through Valentine’s Day on Milkweed’s Submittable page.