Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize backup

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Since 2015, Cave Canem has collaborated with O, Miami to spotlight exceptional chapbook-length manuscripts by Black poets. The winner of the prize receives a $1000 award, publication of their manuscript by O, Miami Books, 10 copies of the chapbook, a residency in The Writer’s Room at The Betsy Hotel in Miami, and a featured reading at the O, Miami Poetry Festival in April. Previous judges were: Robin Coste Lewis; Dawn Lundy Martin; Ross Gay; Major Jackson; Danez Smith; Mahogany L. Browne; and Lillian-Yvonne Bertram.

Deadline: Manuscripts must be submitted no later than Monday, November 14, 2022 at 11:59 pm ET. Winner announced by email on November 28, 2022.

Entry Fee: There is no entry fee, though donations may be made to Cave Canem here.

Judge: Herman Beavers (Judge reserves the right not to select a winner or honorable mentions.)

Eligibility: This is not a first-book award. All unpublished, original collections of poems written in English by Black writers are eligible. Simultaneous submission to other chapbook awards should be noted: immediate notice upon winning such an award is required.

Exclusions: Current or former students, colleagues, employees, family members and close friends of the judge; current or former employees and members of the board of Cave Canem Foundation, Jai-Alai Books or O, Miami; and authors who have published a book or have a book under contract with Jai-Alai Books are ineligible

If any of the selected authors fall under the above exclusions, they will be disqualified and a replacement chosen from among the finalists. As the poetry community is small and the contest is judged blind, acquaintance with the judge and participation in a workshop taught by the judge are not disqualifying criteria.



  • Submit manuscripts online via Submittable. Hard copy submissions will not be considered.
  • One manuscript per poet allowed.
  • Include a title page with the title only and a table of contents. Author’s name should not appear on any pages within the uploaded document.
  • Include a cover letter with a brief author’s bio and a list of acknowledgments of previously published poems. DO NOT include this information within the document of the manuscript.
  • Manuscript must be paginated, with a font size of 11 or 12, and 25-30 pages in length, inclusive of title page and table of contents. A poem may be multiple pages, but no more than one poem per page is permitted.
  • Manuscripts not adhering to submission guidelines will not be considered.
  • Post-submission revisions or corrections are not permitted.


About the Judge
Herman Beavers is the Julie Beren Platt and Marc E. Platt President’s Distinguished Professor of English and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program and offers an arts-based, community service course that brings students together with Philadelphia residents. Beavers’ poems have appeared in The Langston Hughes Colloquy, MELUS, Versadelphia, Cleaver Magazine, The American Arts Quarterly, and Supplement. His fiction has appeared in the Best Philadelphia Stories. His poems have been anthologized in Obsession: Sestinas for the Twenty-First Century, Remembering Gwen, Who Will Speak for America and Show Us Your Papers. Beavers is the author of Obsidian Blues (a chapbook), Geography and the Political Imaginary in the Novels of Toni Morrison, and The Vernell Poems. He is collaborating with saxophonists Odean Pope and Immanuel Wilkins to develop a series of jazz compositions based on his sonnet cycle, “Progressions,” in a project titled, “Re-Sounding Progressions”. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Lisa.

About O, Miami
O, Miami builds literary culture in Miami, FL. In collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, O, Miami produces a visiting writer series, a publishing imprint, a poets-in-the-community workshop program, and the O, Miami Poetry Festival, which has the annual goal of every single person in Miami-Dade County encountering a poem during the month of April. O, Miami publishes print books, e-books, zines, chapbooks, posters, and other stuff. The mission of our publishing program is to contribute to a regional identity for Miami-based literary publishing and provide opportunities for South Florida voices to find new audiences. For more, visit

About The Betsy Hotel
The Betsy – South Beach is an award-winning global arts hotel and home of The Betsy Writer’s Room that has hosted over 800 artists, thought leaders, poets and creators in residence. The Betsy is also the home of the O, Miami Poetry Festival, Miami Classical Music Festival and host Hotel to many of South Florida’s leading regional charitable, arts and culture organizations. Its poetry programs are inspired by the work of mid-century poet Hyam Plutzik, three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and father of Betsy owner Jonathan Plutzik. The Betsy Hotel, located on iconic Ocean Drive, beachfront, is also home of The Betsy Poetry Rail, a public installation that champions the work of 12 writers that shaped Miami Culture.


2021 Winner

Selected by judge Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Demetrius “Meech” Buckley is the winner of the 2021 Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize for his manuscript Here is Home. Buckley will receive $1,000, publication by Jai-Alai Books in spring 2022, copies of the chapbook, a residency at The Writer’s Room at The Betsy Hotel in Miami, and a featured reading at the O, Miami Poetry Festival.

Demetrius A. Buckley is a prolific poet and essayist, whose work has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, PEN America, RHINO, and elsewhere. Meech is currently incarcerated in Baraga Correctional Facility in Michigan. He won the 2020 Page Davidson Clayton Prize for Emerging Poets, Apogee, PEN America, and RHINO. He is the winner of the 2021 Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize.



Honorable Mentions:

Stage Dive by Christopher Rose
Remedies for Disappearing by Alexa Patrick
Autobiography of Boi Venus by kiki nicole



Cave Canem is grateful to our community of institutional supporters. Thank you for your belief in the mission to cultivate the artistic and professional growth of Black poets!