The Brittingham & Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry

The Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry are awarded annually to two book-length poetry manuscripts submitted in a national competition, selected by an outside judge. This year, that judge will be Guggenheim Fellow Brian Teare. Each prize offers $1,000 plus publication by the University of Wisconsin Press, and three additional finalists will also be offered publishing contracts, as part of the Wisconsin Poetry Series. Submissions may be made via Submittable at wicw.submittable.com between July 15 and September 15, 2020. For detailed guidelines, please see our submissions page. For additional information about the series and its publisher, visit the University of Wisconsin Press home page. Questions not answered elsewhere on this site, or in the FAQ at creativewriting.wisc.edu/submit.html, may be directed to the series editors, Ron Wallace & Sean Bishop.

Current & Past Winners

Guest Judge Carmen Giménez Smith selected Daniel Khalastchi’s American Parables and Joseph Nguyen’s Come Clean and for the 2022 Brittingham & Felix Pollak Poetry Prizes. Series Editors Sean Bishop and Ron Wallace selected three additional manuscripts for publication this year: Judith Vollmer’s The Sound Boat, Emily Rose Cole’s Thunderhead, and Laura Villareal’s Girl’s Guide to Leaving.

2021—Selected by Carmen Giménez Smith

      Daniel KhalastchiAmerican Parables, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Joshua Nguyen: Come Clean, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2020—Selected by Natasha Trethewey

      Diane KerrPerigee, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Carlos Andrés GómezFractures, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2019—Selected by Carl Phillips

      Molly SpencerIf the House, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Sarah KortemeierGanbatte, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2018—Selected by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

      D. M. AderibigbeHow the End First Showed, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Michelle Brittan RosadoWhy Can’t It Be Tenderness, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2017—Selected by Robert Wrigley

      Max GarlandThe Word We Used for It, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Lynn PowellSeason of the Second Thought, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2016—Selected by Susan Mitchell

      Nick LantzYou, Beast, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Charles HoodPartially Excited States, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2015—Selected by Denise Duhamel

      Jennifer WhitakerThe Blue Hour, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Rita Mae ReeseThe Book of Hulga, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2014—Selected by Lucia Perillo

      Christina StoddardHive, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Matthew SiegelBlood Work, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2013—Selected by Naomi Shihab Nye

      Joanne DiazMy Favorite Tyrants, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Angela SorbyThe Sleeve Waves, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2012—Selected by Terrance Hayes

      Greg WrennCentaur, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Craig BlaisAbout Crows, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2011—Selected by Jean Valentine

      Jazzy DanzigerDarkroom, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Mark WagenaarVoodoo Inverso, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2010—Selected by Cornelius Eady

      Alison StineWait, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Jacqueline Jones LaMonLast Seen, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2009—Selected by Robert Pinsky

      Jennifer BoydenThe Mouths of Grazing Things, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Nick LantzThe Lightning that Strikes the Neighbors’ House,
the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2008—Selected by Marilyn Nelson

      Angela SorbyBird Skin Coat, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Mark KraushaarFalling Brick Kills Local Man, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2007—Selected by David St. John

      Philip PardiMeditations on Rising and Falling, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Barbara GoldbergThe Royal Baker’s Daughter, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2006—Selected by Linda Gregerson

      Betsy AndrewsNew Jersey, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Fleda BrownReunion, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2005—Selected by Billy Collins

      Susanna ChildressJagged with Love, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Jennifer Michael HechtFunny, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2004—Selected by Carl Dennis

      John BrehmSea of Faith, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Alan FeldmanA Sail to Great Island, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2003—Selected by Kelly Cherry

      Brian TeareThe Room Where I Was Born, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Bruce SniderThe Year We Studied Women, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2002—Selected by Edward Hirsch

      Anna George MeekActs of Contortion, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Roy JacobsteinRipe, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2001—Selected by Mark Doty

      Robin BehnHorizon Note, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Cathy ColmanBorrowed Dress, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

2000—Selected by Alicia Ostriker

      Greg RappleyeA Path Between Houses, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Derick BurlesonEjo, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

1999—Selected by Robert Bly

      Frank X. GasparA Field Guide to the Heavens, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Charles Harper WebbLiver, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

1998—Selected by Donald Hall

      Suzanne PaolaBardo, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Chana BlochMrs. Dumpty, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

1997—Selected by Rita Dove

      Olena Kalytiak DavisAnd Her Soul Out of Nothing, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Betsy ShollDon’t Explain, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

1996—Selected by Philip Levine

      Juanita BrunkBrief Landing on the Earth’s Surface, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Dennis TrudellFragments in Us, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

“When the world is turned upside down, when vaccines are 5G and democracy is fascism and insurrection is freedom of speech, satire is often the most acute mirror to interpret an age. Vivid, bleak, and startling, American Parables is an allegorical masterpiece of mordant irony I plan to carry with me in this uncertain post-JAN6 era.”
—Carmen Giménez Smith

Contact Us

Series Editors Ron Wallace & Sean Bishop
Program in Creative Writing
Department of English
600 N. Park St, H.C. White Rm 6195
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706

“I am so deeply moved by the subdued lyric force of this collection, if only subdued could capture the elegant control Nguyen exerts on his line. Sensuously constructed, in Come Clean he looks at the vast landscape of history through the desire for Marie Kondo’s order and a cure for imposter’s syndrome, in a book that’s as current as it is timeless.”
—Carmen Giménez Smith

1995—Selected by Carolyn Kizer

      Lynn PowellOld and New Testaments, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Bob HicokThe Legend of Light, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

1994—Selected by Henry Taylor

      Lisa LewisThe Unbeliever, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry
David ClewellNow We’re Getting Somewhere, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry

1993—Selected by Lisel Mueller

      Stephanie StricklandThe Red Virgin, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry

1992—Selected by Donald Justice

      Tony HoaglandSweet Ruin, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry

1991—Selected by Donald Finkel

      Renée AshleySalt, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry

1990—Selected by Mary Oliver

      Judith VollmerLevel Green, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry

1989—Selected by Gerald Stern

      Stefanie MarlisSlow Joy, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry

1988—Selected by Charles Wright

      Lisa ZeidnerPocket Sundial, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry

1987—Selected by Mona Van Duyn

      David KirbySaving the Young Men of Vienna, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry

1986—Selected by Maxine Kumin

      Patricia DoblerTalking to Strangers, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry

1985—Selected by C. K. Williams

      Jim DanielsPlaces/Everyone, the Brittingham Prize in Poetry