Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize



$2,500 for a First Book of Poems


This prize is offered annually to a poet who has not previously published a full-length collection of poems. The prize awards the winner with $2,500 and publication of their first full-length book of poetry by the Kent State University Press. The winner and the competition's judge will give a reading together on the Kent State campus.

The 2023 winner was Opium and Ambergris by Colin Dekeersgieter selected by Marilyn Chin. 

The 2024 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize's judge is Alison Hawthorne Deming

Alison Hawthorne Deming

Poet, essayist, and editor Alison Hawthorne Deming has published six books of poetry and five books of nonfiction, most recently A Woven World: On Fashion, Fishermen, and the Sardine Dress (Counterpoint Press) and Stairway to Heaven (Penguin Poets). She has two books coming out in 2025: the poetry collection Blue Flax & Yellow Mustard Flower (Red Hen Press) and the anthology The Gift of Animals: Poems in Celebration of Animals & The People Who Love Them (Storey Press). She coedited with Lauret E. Savoy the anthology The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World. Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA Fellowships, Stegner Fellowship from Stanford, and Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, she is former Agnese Nelms Haury Chair in Environment and Social Justice and former Director of the UA Poetry Center. Currently she is Regents Professor Emerita at the University of Arizona. She lives in Tucson, Arizona and Grand Manan, New Brunswick, Canada.


The winner of the 2023 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize is Colin Dekeersgieter. 

Colin Dekeersgieter


Colin Dekeersgieter is a poet, editor, and teacher living in North Carolina with his wife, writer Alisa Koyrakh. His work has appeared in The Greensboro Review, North American Review, Green Mountains Review, and elsewhere. He holds an MA from the CUNY, Graduate Center and an MFA from New York University. Colin currently serves as the poetry editor for The Carolina Quarterly and is a PhD candidate at UNC, Chapel Hill. OPIUM AND AMBERGRIS will be published by The Kent State University Press in the fall of 2024.


First Book Archive


  • The competition is open to poets writing in English who have not yet published a full-length collection of poems (a volume of 50 or more pages published in an edition of 500 or more copies).
  • There is a $30 reading fee. Christine Gosnay
  • Submissions must consist of 50 to 70 pages of poetry, with no more than one poem included on a page. 
  • The poet's name or identifying information is not to appear on the manuscript. Include just one title page with the title only. List all other contact information in the "cover letter" box of the submissions manager. Entries are judged anonymously. If any identifying information is found in the manuscript, including publication information or identifying dedications or notes, the manuscript will be disqualified.
  • Do not include an acknowledgments page. If an acknowledgments page is included in the manuscript, the manuscript will be disqualified. 
  • The manuscript may be submitted simultaneously to other publishers, but the poet must notify the Wick Poetry Center immediately if the manuscript is accepted for publication elsewhere.
  • Manuscripts must be postmarked between February 1, 2022, and May 1, 2024.
  • A winner will be announced in late summer.

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