2015 Annual First Book Award

judge Tracie Morris

contest closed; judging underway

winner announced in November

A prize of $1500 and trade book publication for a first,

full-length book of poems to a female writer.

Tracie Morris is a poet who has worked extensively as a page-based writer, sound poet, critic, scholar, bandleader, actor and multimedia performer. Her sound installations have been presented at the Whitney Biennial, MoMA, Ronald Feldman Gallery, The Silent Barn, The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, The Drawing Center, The Gramsci Monument with Thomas Hirshhorn for the DIA Foundation and other galleries and museums. Tracie presents her work extensively as a poet, performer and scholar around the globe and has presented, performed and researched in almost 30 countries and 37 US States. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Hunter College, has studied classical British acting technique extensively at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and holds a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University. Tracie is Professor and Coordinator of Performance Studies at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York. 

How to Submit Your Manuscript

Note: in 2015 the cash award to the contest winner was increased from $1000 to $1500, plus 20 author copies. The 2015 contest deadline was May 30, 2015. Contest is now closed. This competition is open each year to any female writer who has not published a full-length collection of poetry. Writers who have had chapbooks of less than 42 pages printed in editions of no more than 400 copies are eligible.

Comment box should include:

  • Daytime and evening telephone numbers
  • Where you heard about the contest

Manuscripts must be:
• A minimum of 48 pages and a maximum of 90 pages. no cover letter needed.
• Anonymous (do not include your name anywhere on the manuscript)
• Original poetry written by applicant (translations are not eligible)

$28 reading fee

Submit online here. More guidelines provided on submissions page.

For more information email us or call 520-327-2127.


Ethics Statement

We endorse and agree to comply with the following statement released by the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses:

CLMP's community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to:

1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors;

2) provide clear and specific contest guidelines -- defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and

3) make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public.

This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.


2014 First Book Winner

Silent Anatomies

by Monica Ong

Judge: Joy Harjo

Available NOW!

Harjo says of Silent Anatomies: "This is one of the most unique poetry collections. It’s a kind of graphic poetry book, but that’s not exactly it either. Poetry unfurls within, outside and through images. The images are stark representations that include bottles that have been excavated from a disappeared age, contemporary ultrasound images of a fetus, family photographs and charts. They establish stark bridges between ancestor and descendant time and presence. This collection is highly experimental and exciting."

Monica Ong is a poet and artist dwelling in experimental spaces. She completed her MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design in Digital Media, and is also a Kundiman poetry fellow. Her work has been published in Seneca Review, Drunken Boat, Glassworks Magazine, Tidal Basin Review, and others. An exhibiting artist for over a decade, she draws from her professional design practice to innovate on the alchemy of text and image. monicaong.com


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2011 Winner
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2009 Winner
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2007 Winner
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2006 Winner
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2005 Winner
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2004 Winner

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2003 Winner

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