Maine Poets Society Prize Poem Contest


The Maine Poets Society is proud to present our sixth annual $100 prize poem contest. This year we are again also offering a $50 prize to Maine poets whose poetry has not been previously published. Publication in a newsletter or an online workshop does not count for this purpose.

The contests are open to all Maine residents, including seasonal, except for Maine Poets Society board members. If your entry will be postmarked out of state, please enclose a letter verifying your address when resident in Maine.  Entries must be postmarked between January 15 th and the deadline of March 30 th , 2023.

There is a $5 entry fee for the $100 prize poem contest, and a $2.50 entry fee for the $50 contest for previously unpublished poets. You may enter up to 4 poems, but you must cover each poem with an entry fee. You may not enter a poem that has been previously published.

Topic and form are left open, but there is a 50-line limit. Entries exceeding this will be disqualified.

Our distinguished judge for the $100 prize poem contest in 2023 will be Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate from 2011-2016 and Emeritus Professor at the University of Maine, Farmington. He has received fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and United States Artists. Among his other honors are the Robert Frost Prize, the Theodore Roethke Prize, the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book, the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal for “distinguished contribution to the world of letters.” Our prizes will be presented at the 2023 Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance awards evening. The shortlists will be announced beforehand by email and on the MPS Facebook page.

Please send two copies of your poem, one of them identified with your name, mailing address, email address and telephone number and which contest you are entering, and one with no additional information, to MPS Vice-President Gus Peterson, at 12 Middle Street, Randolph, ME 04346. Mark your envelope CONTEST.

Enclose a check payable to Maine Poets Society, with ‘Contest entry’ on the memo line. Entries will not be returned, so please retain a copy.

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