Colleen J. McElroy to Judge 2023 Cave Canem Poetry Prize

Poster announcing the 2023 Cave Canem Poetry Prize is open for submissions until May 10, 2023. On the left of the poster is a black and white headshot of judge Colleen J. McElroy. She is looking off camera. She has multiple earrings in her ears, a nose ring, a ruffled dark scarf, and a dark colored top. She has dark hair in a crown braid and smaller braids.
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Submissions are now open for the 2023 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, to be judged by Colleen J. McElroy. The annual contest is dedicated to the discovery of first books by Black poets. The winner receives $1,000, publication by University of Pittsburgh Press in fall 2024, 15 copies of the book, and a feature reading. Black poets who have not had a full-length book of poetry published by a professional press are encouraged to apply by May 10. The contest is free to enter. Complete details and submission guidelines may be found here.

Colleen J. McElroy is the author of nine poetry collections, including Blood Memory; Sleeping with the Moon, winner of the PEN Oakland National Literary Award; Travelling Music; What Madness Brought Me Here: New and Selected Poems, 1968–1988; Queen of the Ebony Isles, winner of the American Book Award; and Winters without Snow. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Fulbright Program; and the Rockefeller Foundation. A DuPont Distinguished Scholar and former editor of The Seattle Review for more than a decade, McElroy is Professor Emerita at the University of Washington.

The Cave Canem Poetry Prize was initiated in 1999 with Rita Dove’s selection of Natasha Trethewey’s Domestic Work. Most recently, Willie Perdomo selected Ariana Benson as the 2022 Cave Canem Poetry Prize winner.

Cave Canem’s prizes are supported, in part, by Amazon Literary Partnership Poetry Fund in partnership with the Academy of American Poets; Ford Foundation; Heinz Endowments; Lannan Foundation; Mellon Foundation; New York State Council of the Arts; Poetry Foundation; and Rona Jaffe Foundation. 

Cave Canem is grateful to its community of institutional supporters and individual donors, listed on our website, here.