The X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize


2021XJKennedy Prize

The X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize

$10,000

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

The winner of the 2020 X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize is Before I Had the Word, by Brooke Sahni.


Submission Guidelines

To submit please visit our online submission manager:

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

2021 Judge: Kazim Ali

General Guidelines

Manuscript Guidelines


Kazim Ali

2021 Judge: Kazim Ali

KazimAli-012

Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom and has lived transnationally in the United States, Canada, India, France, and the Middle East. His books encompass multiple genres, includingthe volumes of poetry Inquisition, Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth DayAll One’s Blue; and the cross-genre texts Bright Felon and Wind Instrument. His novels include the recently published The Secret Room: A String Quartet and among his books of essays are the hybrid memoir Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. He is also an accomplished translator (of Marguerite Duras, Sohrab Sepehri, Ananda Devi, Mahmoud Chokrollahi and others) and an editor of several anthologies and books of criticism. After a career in public policy and organizing, Ali taught at various colleges and universities, including Oberlin College, Davidson College, St. Mary's College of California, and Naropa University. He is currently a Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. His newest books are a volume of three long poems entitled The Voice of Sheila Chandra and a memoir of his Canadian childhood, Northern Light.

Visit Kazim Ali's Website


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:

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