Announcing the 10th Annual Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize

Awarded Annually to the Poem that Best Evokes Connection to Place

Announcing the 10th Annual Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

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Zócalo is delighted to announce that we are now accepting submissions for the 10th annual Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize. The deadline for entries will close on January 29, 2021.

Since 2012, Zócalo has awarded the prize annually to the U.S. poet whose poem best evokes a connection to place. “Place” may be interpreted in many ways, be it of historical, cultural, political, or personal importance; the landscape may also be literal, imaginary, or metaphorical.

As with everything else Zócalo features, we are on the lookout for that rare combination of brilliance and clarity, excellence, and accessibility.

Our 10th winner will be selected by the Zócalo staff, working in conjunction with a poetry prize selection committee. The winner will receive $1,000 and will have the opportunity to deliver their poem at our spring book prize event. Zócalo will also publish the poem on our site alongside an interview with the poet.

Please take a look at our winning entries from 20122013201420152016201720182019, and 2020.

The poetry prize competition is hosted in conjunction with our book prize, awarded to the nonfiction book that most enhances our understanding of community.

Submission Guidelines


Poems must be original and previously unpublished work.


For consideration, please send up to three poems to

Please attach your 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 review by the judges. We will accept online submissions only, and receipt will be acknowledged at the time of submission.


Entries will be judged based on originality of ideas, theme, and style. Judging is at the sole discretion of Zócalo Public Square and our poetry prize committee. The winner will be announced in spring 2020, and the winning poet will receive $1,000, a published interview, and an opportunity for a public reading hosted by Zócalo. The winning poem will be published on


The winning poem becomes the property of Zócalo Public Square, but the writer may republish the poem at a later date with Zócalo’s permission. By entering the contest, the entrant grants Zócalo the right to publish and distribute their poem for media and publicity purposes, along with the poet’s name and photograph. Poets will be contacted by Zócalo before we publish any submission, either for the contest or on our site.


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