2016 Drinking Gourd Poetry Prize Guidelines

Keep on travelin’ that muddy road to freedom / Follow that drinking gourd. — Traditional

5th Annual Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize

Application & Guidelines:


Winner receives $350 prize money, publication by Northwestern University Press in Fall 2016, 15 copies of the book, and a featured reading. Results announced in March 2016.


Judging will be conducted by a panel of senior minority poets and scholars assembled by the Northwestern University Poetry and Poetics Colloquium.


Poets of color who have not previously published a book-length volume of poetry. Simultaneous submissions to other contests should be noted. Immediate notification upon winning another award is required. Winner must be available for a reading in Chicago in January of 2017.


Reading period begins January 15, 2016. Manuscripts must be postmarked by December 31, 2015. To be notified that your manuscript has been received, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard. The winner will be announced on March 15, 2016.


•    Complete submission form to be included with manuscript packet.
•    Send two copies of a single manuscript.  One manuscript per poet allowed.
•    Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope to receive notification of results.
•    Author’s name should not appear on any pages within the manuscript.
•    Manuscript must be typed single-sided with a minimum font size of 11, paginated and 25-35 pages in length.
•    Manuscript must include a table of contents and list of acknowledgments of previously published poems.
•    Manuscript must be unbound. Use a binder clip—do not staple or fold. Do not include illustrations or images of any kind.
•    Manuscripts not adhering to submission guidelines will be discarded without notice to sender.
•    Due to the volume of submissions, manuscripts will not be returned.
•    Post-submission revisions or corrections are not permitted.

Reading Fee

$15. Enclose check with submission, made payable to Northwestern University.

Direct packet to:

Northwestern University Poetry and Poetics Colloquium                                                                                
Drinking Gourd Prize Chapbook Series
University Hall, Room 215
1897 Sheridan Road                                                        
Evanston, IL 60208
Attn:  Susannah Young-ah Gottlieb


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