PUB: Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize

Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize

The Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize is awarded annually to the U.S. poet whose poem best evokes a connection to place. “Place” may be interpreted by the poet as a place of historical, cultural, political, or personal importance; it may be a literal, imaginary, or metaphorical landscape. We are looking for one poem that offers our readers a fresh, original, and meaningful take on the topic.

Like everything else we feature, we will most be on the lookout for that rare combination of brilliance and clarity, excellence and accessibility.

The winning poet, as judged by Zócalo Poetry Editor Stephanie Brown and the Zócalo editorial staff, will receive $500.

Massachusetts poet Jody Zorgdrager won our first annual poetry prize in 2012 for “Coming Back, It Comes Back.”

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Poems must be original and previously unpublished work. Entries will be accepted between January 16, 2013 and April 1, 2013.

For consideration, please send up to three poems to

Please attach 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 judge’s review. We will accept online submissions only.

Entries will be judged based on originality of ideas, how well the poem fits the theme, and style. Judging is at the sole discretion of Zócalo Public Square. The winner will be announced in April 2013, and the winning poet will receive $500. The winning poem will be published on 

The winning poem becomes the property of Zócalo Public Square. By entering the contest, the entrant grants Zócalo the right to publish and distribute his or her poem for media and publicity purposes, along with the poet’s name and photograph.