The X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize


Established in 1998, The X. J. Kennedy Prize seeks to publish one full-length collection of poetry per year. Since 2019 the Prize comes with a $10,000 advance, a standard royalty contract, and 20 copies of the published book.

Submissions open each year on July 1 and close on September 30. To submit please visit our online submission manager

https://texasreview.submittable.com/submit/1489/the-x-j-kennedy-poetry-prize

The X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize

2019 Judge: Marilyn Nelson

General Guidelines

Manuscript Guidelines

2019 Judge: Marilyn Nelson

Marilyn Nelson is the author or translator of seventeen poetry books and the memoir How I Discovered Poetry. She is also the author of The Fields Of Praise: New And Selected Poems, which won the 1998 Poets’ Prize, Carver: A Life In Poems, which won the 2001 Boston Globe/Hornbook Award and the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award, and Fortune’s Bones, which was a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and won the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. Nelson’s honors include two NEA creative writing fellowships, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, a fellowship from the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Frost Medal. She was the Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut from 2001-2006.

  1. J . Kennedy, for whom this competition is named, is a distinguished poet, translator, anthologist, editor, and is the author of numerous books of poetry, children’s literature, and textbooks on English literature. Kennedy won the Poetry Society of America’s Frost Medal for lifetime service to poetry in 2009.

Previous Winners:

2018: Garret Keizer The World Pushes Back 

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781680031843/the-world-pushes-back/

2017: Jay UdallBecause a Fire in Our Heads

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781680031508/because-a-fire-in-our-heads/

2016: Jeff HardinNo Other Kind of World

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781680031355/no-other-kind-of-world/

2015: Gwen HartThe Empress of Kisses

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781680030891/the-empress-of-kisses/

2014: Corinna McClanahan SchroederInked

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781680030594/inked/

2013: Ashley Mace HavirdThe Garden of the Fugitives

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781680030068/garden-of-the-fugitives/

2012: Jeff WorleyA Little Luck

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781937875411/a-little-luck/

2011: James McKeanWe Are the Bus

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781933896847/we-are-the-bus/

2010: George DrewThe View from Jackass Hill

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781933896663/the-view-from-jackass-hill/

2009: Joshua CobenMaker of Shadows

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781933896427/maker-of-shadows/

2008: Ashley ReneeBasic Heart

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781933896281/basic-heart/

2007: William Baer“Bocage” and Other Sonnets

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781933896199/bocage-and-other-sonnets/

2006: Becky Gould GibsonAphrodite’s Daughter

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781933896106/aphrodites-daughter/

2005: Deborah BogenLandscape with Silos

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781881515937/landscape-with-silos/

2004: Lee RudolphA Woman and a Man, Ice-Fishing

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781881515807/a-woman-and-a-man-ice-fishing/

2003: Eric NelsonTerrestrials

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781881515654/terrestrials/

2002: Jan Lee AndeReliquary

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781881515586/reliquary/

2001: Jorn AkeAsleep in the Lightning Fields

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781881515449/asleep-in-the-lightning-fields/

2000: Barbara LauThe Long Surprise

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781881515357/the-long-surprise/

1999: Philip HeldrichGood Friday

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781881515302/good-friday/

1998: Gray JacobikThe Surface of Last Scattering

            https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781881515203/the-surface-of-last-scattering/