The X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize
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.
Winner of the 2021 X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize:
Where Are the Snows, by Kathleen Rooney
Selected by Kazim Ali
To submit please visit our online submission manager:
- Submissions are open July 1 – September 30.
- A fee of $28 must be paid at the time of submission.
- Open to any poet writing in English. Translations are not eligible.
- The X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize is not a first book prize, though we welcome first books. The Prize is open to poets at any stage of their career.
- There are no formal restrictions for this prize; we welcome manuscripts of any style/form.
- Poems may have been published individually in magazines or anthologies, but the collection as a whole must be unpublished.
- Simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Please notify TRP immediately by withdrawing the manuscript via Submittable if the manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
- Current and former students and faculty of Sam Houston State University are not eligible. Family members or former students of the final judge are not eligible.
- Submissions are accepted through Submittable only.
- Winner will receive a $10,000 advance, a standard royalty contract, and 20 copies of the published book.
- Manuscripts must be between 50 and 100 pages in length.
- Please include a table of contents, title page, and page numbers.
- Do not include an acknowledgments page.
- No more than one poem per page.
- Submissions are judged blind. Please remove any identifying information from the manuscript.
- Submit as a .pdf, .docx, or .doc file format.
- No revisions will be accepted once the manuscript is uploaded.
Kimiko 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.
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 Coben – Maker 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