Since 2012, the Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize has been awarded annually to the U.S. poet whose poem best evokes a connection to place. “Place” may be interpreted by the poet as a place of historical, cultural, political, or personal importance; it may be a literal, imaginary, or metaphorical landscape.
Like everything else we feature, we are most on the lookout for that rare combination of brilliance and clarity, excellence, and accessibility. Please take a look at our winning entries from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
The winning poet in 2018, as judged by the Zócalo staff, will receive $500, a published interview, and deliver a public reading of the winning poem at our annual Book Prize award ceremony in Los Angeles.
The poetry prize competition is hosted in conjunction with our book prize, awarded to the nonfiction book that most enhances our understanding of community.
Poems must be original and previously unpublished work. Entries will be accepted until February 2, 2018.
For consideration, please send up to three poems to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please attach poem(s) as a single Word document to your email. Include your name, address, phone number, and email address on each poem. Personal identification will be removed prior to judge’s review. We will accept online submissions only.
Entries will be judged based on originality of ideas, how well the poem fits the theme, and style. Judging is at the sole discretion of Zócalo Public Square. The winner will be announced in March 2018, and the winning poet will receive $500, a published interview, and deliver a public reading of the winning poem at our annual Book Prize award ceremony in Los Angeles. The winning poem will be published on zocalopublicsquare.org.
The winning poem becomes the property of Zócalo Public Square. By entering the contest, the entrant grants Zócalo the right to publish and distribute his or her poem for media and publicity purposes, along with the poet’s name and photograph. The writer may republish the poem at a later date with Zócalo’s permission. Writers will be contacted by Zócalo before we publish any submission, either for the contest or on our site.