The X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize


2022 XJ Kennedy

The X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize

$10,000 + Publication

2022 Judge: Kimiko Hahn

Established in 1998, The X. J. Kennedy Prize highlights 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.

Submission Guidelines and List of Previous Winners

Winner of the 2021 X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize:

Where Are the Snows, by Kathleen Rooney

Selected by Kazim Ali


Submission Guidelines

To submit please visit our online submission manager:

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

General Guidelines

Manuscript Guidelines


Kimiko Hahn

KimikoHahn_judgephotoKimiko Hahn is the author of ten books of poems, including: Foreign Bodies (W. W. Norton, 2020); Brain Fever (WWN, 2014), and Toxic Flora (WWN, 2010), both collections prompted by science; The Narrow Road to the Interior (WWN, 2006) a collection that takes its title from Basho’s famous poetic journal; The Unbearable Heart (Kaya, 1996), which received an American Book Award; Earshot (Hanging Loose Press, 1992), which was awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and an Association of Asian American Studies Literature Award. As part of her service to the CUNY community, she initiated a Chapbook Festival that became an annual event co-sponsored by major literary organizations. Since then, she has added chapbooks to her publication list: Write it!, Brittle Process, Brood, Ragged Evidence, A Field Guide to the Intractable, Boxes with Respect, The Cryptic Chamber, and Resplendent Slug. In 2017, she and Tamiko Beyer collaborated on the chapbook Dovetail.

Hahn takes pleasure in the challenges of collaboration: writing text for film (Coal Fields, 1985 experimental documentary by Bill Brand, Ain’t Nuthin’ But a She-Thing 1995 MTV special, and Everywhere at Once 2008 film based on Peter Lindbergh’s still photos and narrated by Jeanne Moreau); writing poems for visual arts (2016 art-book poetics and 2017 photograph-broadsides with Lauren Henkin).

Honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, PEN/Voelcker Award, Shelley Memorial Prize, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the N.Y. Foundation for the Arts. She has taught in graduate programs at the University of Houston and New York University, and is a distinguished professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation at Queens College, The City University of New York; she has also taught for literary organizations such as the Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem, and Kundiman.

From 2016-2019, Hahn was President of the Board of Governors, Poetry Society of America. She and true crime writer Harold Schechter make their home in New York where life is dictated by their terrier Trudy. For more information, visit https://kimikohahn.com/.


X. J. KENNEDY

X. 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:

2021: Kathleen Rooney – Where Are the Snows

2020: Brooke Sahni – Before I Had the Word

2019: Caroline M. Mar  Special Education

2018: Garret Keizer  The World Pushes Back 

2017: Jay Udall – Because a Fire in Our Heads

2016: Jeff Hardin – No Other Kind of World

2015: Gwen Hart – The Empress of Kisses

2014: Corinna McClanahan Schroeder – Inked

2013: Ashley Mace Havird – The Garden of the Fugitives

2012: Jeff Worley – A Little Luck

2011: James McKean – We Are the Bus

2010: George Drew – The View from Jackass Hill

2009: Joshua CobenMaker of Shadows

2008: Ashley Renee – Basic Heart

2007: William Baer – “Bocage” and Other Sonnets

2006: Becky Gould Gibson – Aphrodite’s Daughter

2005: Deborah Bogen – Landscape with Silos

2004: Lee Rudolph – A Woman and a Man, Ice-Fishing

2003: Eric Nelson – Terrestrials

2002: Jan Lee Ande – Reliquary

2001: Jorn Ake – Asleep in the Lightning Fields

2000: Barbara Lau – The Long Surprise

1999: Philip Heldrich – Good Friday

1998: Gray Jacobik – The Surface of Last Scattering