In 1955, the Academy of American Poets established its University & College Poetry Prizes program at ten schools. We now sponsor nearly 200 annual prizes for poetry at colleges and universities nationwide and have awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to thousands of student poets since the program's inception.
Many of America's most esteemed poets won their first recognition through an Academy College Prize, including Sylvia Plath, Robert Pinsky, Louise Glück, Mark Strand, Mark Doty, Jorie Graham, Kimiko Hahn, Joy Harjo, Toi Derricotte, Li-Young Lee, J. D. McClatchy, Heather McHugh, and Charles Wright.
Establishing a Prize
Two-thirds of the active University & College Poetry Prizes are endowed in perpetuity. The remainder are funded by special arrangement with the schools or donors.
You can endow and name a prize in perpetuity with a gift of $2,500, which is completely tax-deductible. Donors receive copies of their schools' winning poems each year and a lifetime subscription to American Poet, the Academy's biannual journal.
For more information on how to establish a new prize or endow an existing one, please contact Patricia Guzman, Programs Assistant, at the Academy's office: (212) 274-0343 ext. 13 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The full list of schools that participate in this program includes colleges and universities in all fifty states.