Dear Poets and Writers
Thank you for your interest in the annual Yeats Poetry Prize, a public program since 1997 of the all-volunteer WB Yeats Society of NY. We hope you will take part.
The 2024 judge is January O'Neil. Ms. O'Neil is an associate professor at Salem State University (Salem, MA) and author of Glitter Road (forthcoming, February 2024), Rewilding (2018), Misery Islands (2014), and Underlife (2009), all published by Cavan Kerry Press. Her poems and articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day series, American Poetry Review, Poetry, and Sierra, among publications. Her poem “At the Rededication of the Emmett Till Memorial” was a co-winner of the 2022 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award. Go to https://www.yeatssociety.nyc for complete biography.
Competition Rules, Information
Poets of any age from anywhere in the world may enter our competition. The submission form on this site opens from November 1st of each year to the following February 1st. There is no limit on submissions. Eligible poems must be in English on any topic, unpublished, and up to 60 lines in length. Longer poems will be disqualified.
First prize is $1,000, second prize is $500, and two or three honorable mentions are usually awarded at the judge’s discretion.
The entry fees, which help to underwrite the competition, are $15 for the first poem and $12 for each additional poem.
This is a blind competition. All entrants remain anonymous while it is being conducted. Winners are only revealed by our society’s president after final decisions have been made.
The judge reads each poem at least once, often several times as part of the final decision process. There are no other readers or editorial filters.
Winners are announced in early March and awards are presented in New York City in April, which is National Poetry Month in the U.S. They also receive a complimentary two-year membership in our society and their winning poems are published in the printed judge’s report, which is posted on our website, which includes reports from prior years.
Authors keep all rights to their poems but allow the Society to publish the winning entries in the judge’s report for the year in question. Publishers of winning poems may require our permission.
Submit your entries and payment via this Submittable site.
We also welcome mail-in entries to the WB Yeats Society of NY, c/o The National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York, NY 10003. Make check payable to the Society's full name. Enclose a self-addressed, U.S. stamped envelope (SASE) to receive the printed copy of the judge’s report. Each mail-in poem must be 1) typed on a separate sheet of A4 paper (8.5x11in/0.21 x 0.297m) in 12-point Helvetica typeface, and 2) have a 3x5-in index card attached to it that includes the poet’s name, address, phone number, and email address, hand-written or typed. This information must not appear in the poems themselves.
Advice of Our Namesake
Should you require more incentive to write poetry or to enter our annual competition, remember what W.B. Yeats is alleged to have said about taking action: Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking.
The world needs poems and poets.
Don Bates, WB Yeats Society of NY Board of Trustees
Previous Poetry Prize Judges, A-Z: L.S. Asekoff, Billy Collins, Alfred Corn, Alan Feldman, Jessica Greenbaum, Eamon Grennan, Ann Kjellberg, Campbell McGrath, Leslie McGrath, Samuel Menashe, Paul Muldoon, Marie Ponsot, Alice Quinn, Spencer Reese, Grace Schulman, Harvey Shapiro, and Bill Zavatsky.
For More Information on Our Programs and Activities, please visit our website, www.YeatsSociety.nyc, or write to the WB Yeats Society of NY, c/o National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York, NY 10003. All personal inquiries must be sent via email from the website’s contact page.