Deadline: November 27, 2017
Eligibility: High school juniors
Entry Fee: Free
Submit: Up to 3 poems
Awards: 1st Prize: $500; 2nd Prize: $250; 3rd Prize: $100.
Previous Winner: “Gunsafe” by Joseph Felkers
Judge: Princeton University Creative Writing Faculty
Leonard L. Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Prize
The contest recognizes outstanding work by student writers in the 11th grade. The jury consists of members of the Princeton University Creative Writing faculty such as Michael Dickman, Yiyun Li, Paul Muldoon, James Richardson, Tracy K. Smith, Susan Wheeler, and Monica Youn. Find guidelines here.
Online submissions are now being accepted for the 2018 contest — apply below. The application deadline is midnight EST on Monday, November 27, 2017.
A note for high school teachers:
Thank you for your interest in the Leonard L. Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Prize. While we encourage the inclusion of poetry in the high school English curriculum, we ask you to please refrain from using the contest as an occasion to require all your students to submit a poem as a homework assignment. If you read the poems from the past student winners, you’ll see that they all carry a sense of urgency and necessity that is difficult to conjure when a student is obliged to submit a poem. Ideally, we hope motivated students will choose to enter the contest, and that they’ll come to see the writing and sharing of their poems as a joy rather than an obligation.
We’d also like to recommend the following poetry anthologies: