Deadline: February 12, 2022

The Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry is calling for submissions for a poetry collection by a poet currently residing in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin.

Finalists and Winners will be announced in April 2022.


  • $10,000
  • Publication by Milkweed Editions
  • Standard royalty contract, national distribution, and a comprehensive marketing and publicity campaign.
  • A public book launch and celebration for the winning poet will be held in Minneapolis around publication.

2022 Judge:

Tyehimba Jess

Tyehimba Jess is the author of two books of poetry, Leadbelly and OlioOlio won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry, and received an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.  It was also nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Jean Stein Book Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.

Complete Guidelines

  • Poets may submit one complete, book-length collection, defined as a manuscript of forty-eight or more pages. The submitted manuscript must be previously unpublished, though individual poems included may have been previously published in periodicals, chapbooks or anthologies. This is not exclusively a first book contest; poets may be at any stage in their career.
  • The poet must currently reside in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, or Michigan.
  • Only online submissions via Submittable will be considered. There is no entry fee.
  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but poets must notify Milkweed Editions immediately by withdrawing their manuscript via Submittable if it is accepted for publication elsewhere.
  • Multiple submissions are not allowed. Poets may only submit one manuscript to the contest and, further, if you have previously submitted a manuscript to Milkweed Editions and it is still under consideration, you must withdraw it via Submittable before submitting to the contest.
  • We aim to ensure an ethical contest. Poets should refrain from entering the contest if their relationship to the judge in a given year constitutes a conflict of interest. Milkweed Editions reserves the right to disqualify any entries deemed to jeopardize the integrity of the contest. Similarly, poets published by Milkweed Editions within the preceding two years are not eligible to enter. Submissions will not be accepted from employees of Ballard Spahr, The Minneapolis Foundation, Milkweed Editions, or their families or relations.
  • MANUSCRIPT FORMATTING: Submissions will be reviewed anonymously. No identifying information may appear on the pages of the manuscript. If the author’s name appears within the body of the text, please omit it, black it out, or use a pseudonym (this may be changed and an acknowledgments page can be added if the manuscript is selected for publication). Please include a title page (with the author’s name omitted) and a table of contents. Pages must be numbered. Please do not include an acknowledgments page in the manuscript (you will be prompted to submit this information separately via Submittable). No manuscript revisions can be considered during the course of the contest, but the winning poet will have an opportunity to make revisions prior to publication.
  • Incomplete submissions cannot be guaranteed consideration for the prize. Milkweed Editions reserves the right to disqualify any entries deemed to jeopardize the integrity of the contest.

Submit your entry through this link.

VoW Research
Author: VoW Research

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