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Walt Whitman Award

The Walt Whitman Award brings first-book publication, a cash prize of $5,000, and a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center to an American who has never before published a book of poetry. The winning manuscript, chosen by an eminent poet, is published by Louisiana State University Press. The Academy purchases copies of the book for distribution to its members.

The award was established in 1975 to encourage the work of emerging poets and to enable the publication of a poet's first book. Submissions are accepted between September 15 and November 15.

The 2014 judge for the Walt Whitman Award is Rae Armantrout.

Guidelines and Entry Form

Winners & Judges

Year Poet Book Judge
2014 Hannah Sanghee Park The Same-Different (LSU Press) Rae Armantrout
2013 Chris Hosea Put Your Hands In (LSU Press) John Ashbery
2012 Matt Rasmussen Black Aperture (LSU Press) Jane Hirshfield
2011 Elana Bell Eyes, Stones (LSU Press) Fanny Howe
2010 Carl Adamshick Curses and Wishes (LSU Press) Marvin Bell
2009 J. Michael Martinez Heredities (LSU Press) Juan Felipe Herrera
2008 Jonathan Thirkield The Waker's Corridor (LSU Press) Linda Bierds
2007 Sally Van Doren Sex at Noon Taxes (LSU Press) August Kleinzahler
2006 Anne Pierson Wiese Floating City (LSU Press) Kay Ryan
2005 Mary Rose O'Reilley Half Wild (LSU Press) Mary Oliver
2004 Geri Doran Resin (LSU Press) Henri Cole
2003 Tony Tost Invisible Bride (LSU Press) C D. Wright
2002 Sue Kwock Kim Notes from the Divided Country (LSU Press) Yusef Komunyakaa
2001 John Canaday The Invisible World (LSU Press) Sherod Santos
2000 Ben Doller Radio, Radio (LSU Press) Susan Howe
1999 Judy Jordan Carolina Ghost Woods (LSU Press) James Tate
1998 Jan Heller Levi Once I Gazed at You in Wonder (LSU Press) Alice Fulton
1997 Barbara Ras Bite Every Sorrow (LSU Press) C. K. Williams
1996 Joshua Clover Madonna anno domini (LSU Press) Jorie Graham
1995 Nicole Cooley Resurrection (LSU Press) Cynthia Macdonald
1994 Jan Richman Because the Brain Can Be Talked into Anything (LSU Press) Robert Pinsky
1993 Alison Hawthorne Deming Science and Other Poems (LSU Press) Gerald Stern
1992 Stephen Yenser The Fire in All Things (LSU Press) Richard Howard
1991 Greg Glazner From the Iron Chair (W. W. Norton) Charles Wright
1990 Elaine Terranova The Cult of the Right Hand (Doubleday) Rita Dove
1989 Martha Hollander The Game of Statues (Atlantic Monthly Press) W.S. Merwin
1988 April Bernard Blackbird Bye Bye (Random House) Amy Clampitt
1987 Judith Baumel The Weight of Numbers (Wesleyan U. Press) Mona Van Duyn
1986 Chris Llewellyn Fragments from the Fire (Viking) Maxine Kumin
1985 Christianne Balk Bindweed (Macmillan) Anthony Hecht
1984 Eric Pankey For the New Year (Atheneum) Mark Strand
1983 Christopher Gilbert Across the Mutual Landscape (Graywolf Press) Michael S. Harper
1982 Anthony Petrosky Jurgis Petraskas (Louisiana State University Press) Philip Levine
1981 Alberto Ríos Whispering to Fool the Wind (Sheep Meadow Press) Donald Justice
1980 Jared Carter Work, for the Night is Coming (Macmillan) Galway Kinnell
1979 David Bottoms Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump (Morrow) Robert Penn Warren
1978 Karen Snow Wonders (Viking) Louis Simpson
1977 Lauren Shakely Guilty Bystander (Random House) Diane Wakoski
1976 Laura Gilpin The Hocus-Pocus of the Universe (Doubleday) William Stafford
1975 Reg Saner Climbing into the Roots (Harper & Row) William Meredith


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