X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize Submission Guidelines 

, to Judge in 2017

X.J. Kennedy is a distinguished poet, translator, anthologist, editor, and author of children's literature and textbooks on English literature and poetry. The list of awards Kennedy has won for his poetry includes the Poetry Society of America's Robert Frost Medal for lifetime service to poetry in 2009.

David Parsons has been the recipient of many honors and awards including: a National Endowment of Humanities Dante Fellowship to the State University of New York, the French-American Legation Poetry Prize, and the 2006 Baskerville Publisher's Prize from Texas Christian University for an outstanding poem published in their literary journal, Descant. He holds eight Writing Awards from the Lone Star College System. He was inducted into The Texas Institute of Letters in 2009.

  • We only accept online submissions through Submittable.
  • Manuscripts may contain up to 100 pages. We prefer poetry to be single spaced, but each poem should start on a new page.
  • Author’s name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript.
  • The author’s contact information, including a standard cover letter with bio is to be typed into the online form provided by Submittable.
  • A reading fee of $20 must accompany each manuscript.
  • Winning manuscripts will be published the year after acceptance.
    (Upon acceptance for publication, Texas Review Press acquires first North American serial rights; copyright reverts to author upon publication.) 
  • Winners will receive 20 free copies of their books.

The 2017 XJ Kennedy Prize Winner is:

Jay Udall (Thibodaux, LA)
for Because the Fire in Our Heads

The 2017 X.J. Kennedy Prize Runner-up is:

Elisabeth Murawski (Alexandria, VA)
for Heiress

The final judge for 2017 was David M. Parsons, 2011 Texas Poet Laureate

The preliminary judge for 2017 was Larry D. Thomas, 2008 Texas Poet Laureate 

Previous Winners of the XJ Kennedy Poetry Prize

click covers to read about each book or buy a copy

  • The Empress of Kisses by Gwen Hart
  • Inked by Corinna McClanahan Schroeder
  • The Garden of the Fugitives by Ashley Mace Havird
  • A Little Luck by Jeff Worley
  • We are the Bus by James McKean
  • The View from Jackass Hill by George Drew
  • Maker of Shadows by Joshua Coben
  • Basic Heart by Renee Ashley
  • “Bocage” and Other Sonnets by William Baer
  • Aphrodite’s Daughter by Becky Gould Gibson
  • Landscape with Silos by Deborah Bogen
  • A Woman and a Man, Ice-Fishing by Lee Rudolph
  • Terrestrials by Eric Nelson
  • Reliquary by Jan Lee Ande
  • Asleep in the Lightning Fields by Jorn Ake
  • The Long Surprise by Barbara Lau
  • Good Friday by Philip Heldrich
  • The Surface of Last Scattering by Gray Jacobik