Rachel Eliza Griffiths to Judge 2021 Cave Canem Poetry Prize

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Submissions are now open for the 2021 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, to be judged by Rachel Eliza Griffiths. The annual contest is dedicated to the discovery of first books by Black poets. The winner receives $1,000, publication by Graywolf Press in fall 2022, 15 copies of the book, and a feature reading. Both the winner and runner-up will be invited to individual critique sessions with the final judge. Black poets who have not had a full-length book of poetry published by a professional press are encouraged to apply by April 30. The contest is free to enter. Complete details and submission guidelines may be found here.

Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet, novelist, and visual artist. Seeing the Body, her latest hybrid collection of poetry and photography, was nominated for the 2021 NAACP Image Awards in Outstanding Literary Works (Poetry) and chosen as one of NPR’s Best Books of 2020. Griffiths was selected as the 2020 Stella Adler Poet-in-Residence and is the recipient of several fellowships, including those from Kimbilio, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Millay Colony, and Yaddo. She has taught creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). Her debut novel, Promise, will be published by Random House in 2022.

The Cave Canem Poetry Prize was initiated in 1999 with Rita Dove’s selection of Natasha Trethewey’s Domestic Work. Most recently, Douglas Kearney selected Aurielle Marie’s Gumbo Ya Ya for last year’s prize.