PI Prize

Poetry International Prize

The judge for the 2024 Poetry International Prize is Rick Barot 

THE POETRY INTERNATIONAL PRIZE  is one of two annual contests sponsored by Poetry International to award a cash prize of $1000 and publication for a single poem of any length. Submit up to 3 poems with a $15 entry fee. You may submit additional poems for a $3 reading fee per poem. All entries are considered for publication.  Please refer to our contest guidelines for more information.

We regret that we can no longer accept hard-copy submissions, nor do we accept submissions through email. Please submit via Submittable. Contact us at poetryintl@gmail.com with questions or concerns.

Contest opens in spring and runs from March 1 to April 30. Winners are announced in the fall.


Congratulations to Lee Peterson, winner of the 2023 Poetry International Prize

The prize-winning poem “Quartet for the End of Time” will appear in an upcoming issue of Poetry International.

Alexandra Lytton Regalado on “Quartet for the End of Time”:

If we are attuned to the world, you can find poetry everywhere. And in these difficult days, we have to work harder to hear the birdsong. This is a timely, elegantly crafted poem that invites us to consider how art is “in the listening.” “Quartet for the End of Time” deftly weaves quotes from a conversation between a musical critic and a writer as they discuss the classical music of Olivier Messaien, who composed his piece “Abyss of the Birds” at a German prisoner-of-war camp in 1941. The poem combines confident statements and gentle questioning to contemplate the place of silence, memory as home, and our will to survive.

About Lee Peterson
Lee Peterson is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Rooms and Fields: Dramatic Monologues from the War in Bosnia, winner of the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize (Kent State University Press) and In the Hall of North American Mammals (Cider Press Review), as well as a chapbook, The Needles Road (Seven Kitchens Press). Her work has appeared in Verse Daily and such journals as Arts & Letters, Bellingham Review, Chautauqua, Natural Bridge, Salamander, Southern Humanities Review, and THRUSH. Her research, writing, and community interests center on issues of human rights, displacement and migration, motherhood, and the lived experiences of women and girls. She lives in Central Pennsylvania and teaches writing at Penn State University.


Past Winners

2022 Winner, Adam O. Davis

His poem, “Pyrrhic Symphony” was chosen by Kevin Prufer and will be published in a future issue of Poetry International.

2021 Winners, Eva Heisler and Armen Davoudian

Eva Heisler’s, “Woolf’s Hair”, and Armen Davoudian’s “Cheatsheet” are available to read on PIOnline. Click on poem titles to read.

2020 Winner, Patrick James Errington

His poem,“The Opposite of Poetry,” was chosen by judge Blas Falconer and will be published in the Spring 2022 issue of Poetry International

2019 Winner, Laura Budofsky Wisniewski

Her poem, “How Mushrooms Will Save the World.” was chosen by judge Sandra Alcosser for $1000 and will be published in the spring 2022 issue of Poetry International.

2018 Winner, Amir Safi

His poem, “Asahd” was chosen by judge Victoria Chang for $1000 and publication in a future issue of Poetry International.

2017 Winner, Anders Carlson-Wee

His poem, “Cutting for Sign” was chosen by judge Sherwin Bitsui for $1000 and publication in a future issue of Poetry International.

2016 winner, Elisa Díaz Castelo
Her poem, “Last Family Visit to Tequesquitengo” was chosen by Sam Taylor for $1000 and publication in a future issue of Poetry International.

2015 winner, Sally J. Johnson

Congratulations to our 2015 winner, Sally J. Johnson! Her poem “There Is No Denying the Naturalness” was chosen by Carol Frost and will be published in a future issue of Poetry International. Sally J. Johnson also earned a $1000 cash prize!

2014 winner, Vicky Santiesteban

Congratulations to our 2014 winner, Vicky Santiesteban! Her poem “The Heat Is” was chosen by Fady Judah and will be published in a future issue of Poetry International. Vicky Santiesteban also earned a $1000 cash prize!

2013 winner, Mark Wagenaar

Congratulations to this year’s winner, Mark Wagenaar, for his poem, “Migrations.” Mark will receive $1000 and his poem will appear in a future edition of Poetry International. Kudos to finalists: Todd Fredson, “Waiting in Zraluo” and Jennie Panchy, “Envoi (acrostic.)” The amazing Valzhyna Mort was this year’s judge.

2012 winner, Nicole Sealey

Congratulations to our 2012 winner, Nicole Sealey! Her poem “Imagine Sisyphus Happy” was chosen by Jericho Brown and will be published in a future issue of Poetry International. Nicole also earned a $1000 cash prize.

2011 Winner, Ellery J. Akers

Congratulations to the winner of the 2011 Poetry International Prize, Ellery J. Akers! Her poem, “Mud Lake,” was chosen by judge Steve Kowit for a $1,000 prize and publication in an upcoming issue of Poetry International. Kowit called “Mud Lake” “an exquisite piece of work.” Congratulations, Ellery!

2010 winner, Rochelle Hurt

Our winner is Rochelle Hurt, an MFA student at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Her poem, “Helen’s Confession,” was chosen by judge Bruce Boston for publication in an issue of Poetry International, and a $1000 cash prize.

2009 Winner, Rebekah Stout

Congratulations to Rebekah Stout, winner of the Poetry International Prize 2009! Stout’s poems ‘Midas’ and ‘In the Garden’ will appear in Poetry International 17. Sandra Alcosser judged. Kudos to finalists Melissa SteinAnn StruthersNoreen AyresSierra Nelson, and Michael Lee Phillips.

2008 winner, Sasha Parmasad

Winner of Poetry International Prize for 2008 is Sasha Parmasad for her poem, Memory of Sugarcane-worker Off Duty. Ms. Parmasad has received the prize of $1000, and her poem will appear in the next issue of Poetry International.