We’re Launching a Poetry Prize!

Building Community Through Books, Poetry and Essays

Strengthening our commitment to inspiring new thinking on the meaning of community and place, Zócalo Public Square is pleased to announce the launch of our first annual poetry prize, which will be awarded to the U.S. poet whose poem best evokes a connection to place–whether literal, imaginary or metaphorical. The winning poet will receive $1,000.

The poetry prize joins our existing book prize and high school essay competitions, all sponsored by the Southern California Gas Company.

We are also excited to announce the judging panel for the second annual Zócalo Public Square Book Prize, which will be awarded to the book published this year that most enhances our understanding of community–the forces that strengthen or undermine human connectedness and social cohesion–be it locally, regionally, nationally or globally. Last year’s prize was awarded to Peter Lovenheim for his book In the Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time. This year’s winner, who will deliver a lecture at an award ceremony in April 2012, will be selected by our esteemed judges:

Barbara Fairchild, former editor of Bon Appétit magazine
Kimberly Freeman, director of community relations for the Southern California Gas Company
Franklin Gilliam, Jr., dean of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs
Gregory Rodriguez, founding director of Zócalo Public Square
Thaddeus Russell, professor of history and American studies at Occidental College and author of A Renegade History of the United States
Michele Siqueiros, executive director of the Campaign for College Opportunity
D.J. Waldie, essayist and author of Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir
Michael Woo, dean of California Poly Pomona’s College of Environmental Design and former Los Angeles city council member

Our hope is that these three prizes will further Zócalo’s mission of connecting people to ideas and to each other.

*Photo courtesy of QuietDangst.


Send A Letter To the Editors

Please tell us your thoughts. Include your name and daytime phone number, and a link to the article you’re responding to. We may edit your letter for length and clarity and publish it on our site.

(Optional) Attach an image to your letter. Jpeg, PNG or GIF accepted, 1MB maximum.