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Hope College
Department of English
126 E. 10th St.
Holland, MI 49423
phone: 616.395.7620
fax: 616.395.7134


Academy of American Poets Prize

Funded by Dr. Thomas Werge, Hope class of ’63, and Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, to encourage excellent student writing and secure permanent membership for Hope College in the University and College Poetry Prize program of The Academy of American Poets.

The Academy of American Poets Award is a national poetry award for college students. In 1955, The Academy of American Poets extablished its University and College Poetry Price program at ten schools. The Academy now sponsors nearly 180 annual prizes for poetry at colleges and universities nationwide, and has awarded more than $350,000 to nearly 10,000 student poets since the program's inception.

The 2001-2002 academic year was the inaugural year for the award at Hope College. Many of America's most esteemed poets won their first recognition through an Academy College Price, including Diane Ackerman, Toi Derricotte, Mark Doty, Alice Fulton, Tess Gallagher, Louise Gluck, Allen Grossman, Jorie Graham, Kimiko Hahn, Joy Harjo, Robert Hass, Li-Young Lee, Brad Leithauser, J.D. McClatchy, Heather McHugh, Gregory Orr, Robert Pinsky, Sylvia Plath, Mark Rudman, Mary Jo Salter, Gjertrud Schnackenberg, George Starbuck, Mark Strand, and Charles Wright.

This is a college-wide award, and an open competition; submissions are open to any student registered for classes at Hope College full-time, from any major or discipline, about any topic, an din any poetic form. There is no entrance fee. All submissions must be anonymous.

Contest Guidelines

  1. One submission per poet allowed, consisting of ONE TO TWO POEMS. Total submission should not exceed four pages (no more than one poem per page). If more than two poems are submitted, the two poems on top (without surpassing the five page limit) as arranged when the submission comes in will be the ones passed on to the judge.
  2. Please do not staple the submissions together.
  3. Please submit the poems anonymously; your name (or any other identifying information) should not appear anywhere on the poems.
  4. Cover Sheet: (a) Type Academy of American Poetry Colleges Prize at the top of the cover sheet. (b) Your name, address, phone number, e-mail, AND (c) a summer address, phone number and email, AND (d) a list of the title(s) of the poem(s) MUST appear on this cover sheet.
  5. Paperclip the cover sheet to the top of your poems.

Submit poems and cover sheet to the Hope College Department of English on the third floor of Lubbers Hall by Friday, March 7, at 3:00 pm. (Off-campus students may email submission, following the same guidelines listed above.)

Click here for a list of previous winners