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Agnes Lynch Starret poetry prize

Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize

The 2019 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize Competition

The University of Pittsburgh Press announces the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize for a first full-length book of poems. Named after the first director of the Press, the prize carries a cash award of $5,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press in the Pitt Poetry Series under its standard royalty contract. The winner will be announced in the fall; no information about the winner will be released before the fall announcement. The Starrett Prize is our only venue for first-book poetry manuscripts. The volume of manuscripts received prevents the Press from offering critiques or entering into correspondence about manuscripts other than the one chosen for publication. Please do not call or e-mail the press.

Manuscripts submitted to the contest will not be returned. Please keep a copy of the manuscript.

Past Winners of the Agnes Lynch Starret Poetry Prize


The award is open to any poet writing in English who has not had a full-length book of poetry published previously. We define "full-length book" as a volume of 48 or more pages published in an edition of 500 or more copies. Books whose publication costs have been borne by their authors are excluded from this definition. University of Pittsburgh employees, former employees, current students and those who have been students within the last three years are not eligible for the award.



Format for Submissions

Please send one copy of your manuscript on good quality white paper, with no fewer than 48 and no more than 100 typescript pages. Clean, legible photocopies are acceptable. Your name, address, phone number, and email address should be on your title page. These are our only format requirements. Please also include your curriculum vitae.

Results will be announced in major poetry and writing magazines once a winner has been chosen. Enclose a self-addressed stamped postcard for acknowledgment of receipt and a SASE for contest results.

Fee for Submission

Each manuscript must be accompanied by a check or money order in U.S. dollars only for $25.00 payable to "University of Pittsburgh Press."

Multiple Submissions

Manuscripts being considered by other publishers are allowed, but if a manuscript is accepted for publication elsewhere, please notify the Press in writing.

Dates for Submission

Manuscripts must be received during March and April 2019. That is, they must be postmarked on or after March 1 and on or before April 30. The address for submissions is:

Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize
University of Pittsburgh Press
7500 Thomas Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Tel: (412) 383-2456
Fax: (412) 383-2466

Note: 15260 is the correct and exclusive zip code for the University of Pittsburgh and the Press. For UPS, FedEx, etc., zip code 15208 should be used.

If you have any questions about these guidelines, please email

Now you can submit your Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize manuscript online!
Save time, printing, and postage!

During the submission period (March 1 - April 30) simply click the link below. You'll be taken to our secure web page where you'll find easy-to-follow instructions:





Year Author Title (books in print or forthcoming are linked)
2017 Tiana Clark I Can’t Talk about the Trees without the Blood
2016 Erin Adair-Hodges Let’s All Die Happy
2015 Miriam Bird Greenberg In the Volcano's Mouth
2014 Nate Marshall Wild Hundreds
2013 Sarah Rose Nordgren Best Bones
2012 Kasey Jueds Keeper
2011 Dore Kiesselbach Salt Pier
2010 Glenn Shaheen Predatory
2009 Bobby C. Rogers Paper Anniversary
2008 Cheryl Dumesnil In Praise of Falling
2007 Michael McGriff Dismantling the Hills
2006 Nancy Krygowski Velocity
2005 Rick Hilles Brother Salvage: Poems
2004 Aaron Smith Blue on Blue Ground
2003 David Shumate High Water Mark
2002 Shao Wei Pulling a Dragon's Teeth
2001 Gabriel Gudding A Defense of Poetry
2000 Quan Barry Asylum
1999 Daisy Fried She Didn't Mean To Do It
1998 Shara McCallum The Water Between Us
1997 Richard Blanco City of a Hundred Fires
1996 Helen Conkling Red Peony Night
1995 Sandy Solomon Pears, Lake, Sun
1994 Jan Beatty Mad River
1993 Natasha Sajé Red Under the Skin
1992 Hunt Hawkins The Domestic Life
1991 Julia Kasdorf Sleeping Preacher
1990 Debra Allbery Walking Distance
1989 Nancy Vieira Couto The Face in the Water
1988 Maxine Scates Toluca Street
1987 David Rivard Torque
1986 Robley Wilson Kingdoms of the Ordinary
1985 Liz Rosenberg The Fire Music
1984 Arthur Smith Elegy on Independence Day
1983 Kate Daniels The White Wave
1982 Lawrence Joseph Shouting at No One
1981 Kathy Callaway Heart of the Garfish


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