Cave Canem Poetry Prize

Cave Canem Poetry Prize

The Cave Canem Poetry Prize is a first-book award dedicated to the discovery of exceptional manuscripts by black poets of African descent. Publication of the winning book is shared among three participating presses: Graywolf Press, the University of Georgia Press, and the University of Pittsburgh Press.

The next competition will open in 2019, date to be announced. More information can be found here.

 

2017 Winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize

Selected by Vievee Francis

Refuse

Randall’s work speaks to his refusal to abide by the expected boundaries and binaries set out for him. As we contemplate how to go forward in an America whose fault line runs deep, an immigrant son entrenched in the American experience, a black man owning his Dominican heritage, a sensualist uncowed by the magnetic poles of sexual appeals, a poet unabashedly forwards, interrogates, and illumines the fulsome measure of his ‘I’ . . . And no matter who would dare an argument, or seek to deny Randall’s utter personhood, Refuse is an inscription that won’t allow erasure.

Vievee Francis, judge

past winners

2014
Boy with Thorn

Boy with Thorn

By Rickey Laurentiis

Selected by Terrance Hayes
2011
If One of Us Should Fall

If One of Us Should Fall

By Nicole Terez Dutton

Selected by Patricia Smith
2007
Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man

Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man

By Ronaldo Wilson

Selected by Claudia Rankine
2004
Eye of Water

Eye of Water

By Amber Flora Thomas

Selected by Harryette Mullen
2001
Black Swan

Black Swan

By Van-Clief-Stefanon

Selected by Harryette Mullen