Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition

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The Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition is an annual event of Yale University Press aiming to publish the first collection of a promising American poet. The contest was founded in 1919, and is the oldest annual literary award in the United States.

Each year the Press publishes one book-length manuscript by an American poet under the age of forty who has not previously published a book of poetry. The winner receives royalties upon publication of the book. All poems must be original, and only one manuscript may be entered at a time.

The contest solidified its importance in American literature under the judgeship of Stephen Vincent Benet.[1] Benet was judge from 1933 to 1942, followed by Archibald MacLeish from 1944 to 1946. Margaret Walker's For My People was the last volume selected by Benet. Auden assumed the judgeship after MacLeish. The contest is regarded by some [2] to have been at its height from 1947 to 1959, when W. H. Auden was choosing the winners. His then-young poets included Adrienne Rich, James Wright, W. S. Merwin, John Ashbery, and John Hollander. The period was also notable for the two-time refusal of Sylvia Plath's manuscript Two Lovers,[3] and Colossus which was subsequently published in England.[2] The 1969–1977 period, overseen by Stanley Kunitz, included volumes by Carolyn Forché and Robert Hass; Hass later became the Poet Laureate of the United States. The judgeship of W. S. Merwin, from 1998 to 2003, was fraught with controversy, as he refused to select a winner the first year that he was judge. Louise Glück, who is widely considered[4] to have revived the prize's stature, judged the award from 2003 to 2010. Carl Phillips is the current judge.

Past winners[edit]

This list is taken in part from The Yale Younger Poets Anthology (1998).[5]

Volume Year Poet Title
109 2014 Ansel Elkins Blue Yodel[6]
108 2013 Eryn Green Eruv[7]
107 2012 Will Schutt Westerly
106 2011 Eduardo C. Corral Slow Lightning
105 2010 Katherine Larson Radial Symmetry
104 2009 Ken Chen Juvenilia
103 2008 Arda Collins It is Daylight
102 2007 Fady Joudah The Earth in the Attic
101 2006 Jessica Fisher Frail-Craft
100 2005 Jay Hopler Green Squall
99 2004 Richard Siken Crush
98 2003 Peter Streckfus The Cuckoo
97 2002 Loren Goodman Famous Americans
96 2001 Sean Singer Discography
95 2000 Maurice Manning Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions
94 1999 Davis McCombs Ultima Thule
93 1998 Craig Arnold Shells
92 1997 Talvikki Ansel My Shining Archipelago
91 1996 Ellen Hinsey Cities of Memory
90 1995 Tony Crunk Living in the Resurrection
89 1994 Valerie Wohlfeld Thinking the World Visible
88 1993 Jody Gladding Stone Crop
87 1992 Nicholas Samaras Hands of the Saddlemaker
86 1991 Christiane Jacox Kyle Bears Dancing in the Northern Air
85 1990 Daniel Hall Hermit with Landscape
84 1989 Thomas Bolt Out of the Woods
83 1988 Brigit Pegeen Kelly To the Place of Trumpets
82 1987 Julie Agoos Above the Land
81 1986 George Bradley Terms to Be Met
80 1985 Pamela Alexander Navigable Waterways
79 1984 Richard Kenney The Evolution of the Flightless Bird
78 1983 Cathy Song Picture Bride
77 1982 David Wojahn Icehouse Lights
76 1981 John Bensko Green Soldiers
75 1980 William Virgil Davis One Way to Reconstruct the Scene
74 1979 Leslie Ullman Natural Histories
73 1978 Bin Ramke The Difference Between Night and Day
72 1977 Olga Broumas Beginning with O
71 1976 Carolyn Forché Gathering the Tribes
70 1975 Maura Stanton Snow on Snow
69 1974 Michael Ryan Threats Instead of Trees
68 1973 Robert Hass Field Guide
67 1972 Michael Casey Obscenities
66 1971 Peter Klappert Lugging Vegetables to Nantucket
65 1970 Hugh Seidman Collecting Evidence
64 1969 Judith Johnson Sherwin Uranium Poems
63 1968 Helen Chasin Coming Close and Other Poems
62 1967 James Tate The Lost Pilot
61 1965 Jean Valentine Dream Barker
60 1964 Peter Davison The Breaking of the Day
59 1963 Sandra Hochman Manhattan Pastures
58 1962 Jack Gilbert Views of Jeopardy
57 1961 Alan Dugan Poems
56 1960 George Starbuck Bone Thoughts
55 1959 William Dickey Of the Festivity
54 1958 John Hollander A Crackling of Thorns
53 1957 James Wright The Green Wall
52 1956 John Ashbery Some Trees
51 1954 Daniel Hoffman An Armada of Thirty Whales
50 1953 Edgar Bogardus Various Jangling Keys
49 1952 W. S. Merwin A Mask for Janus
48 1951 Adrienne Rich A Change of World
47 1949 Rosalie Moore The Grasshopper’s Man and Other Poems
46 1948 Robert Horan A Beginning
45 1947 Joan Murray Poems
44 1946 Eve Merriam Family Circle
43 1945 Charles E. Butler Cut Is the Branch
42 1944 William Meredith Love Letters from an Impossible Land
41 1942 Margaret Walker For My People
40 1941 Jeremy Ingalls The Metaphysical Sword
39 1940 Norman Rosten Return Again, Traveler
38 1939 Reuel Denney The Connecticut River and Other Poems
37 1938 Joy Davidman Letter to a Comrade
36 1937 Margaret Haley The Gardener Mind
35 1936 Edward Weismiller The Deer Come Down
34 1935 Muriel Rukeyser Theory of Flight
33 1934 James Agee Permit Me Voyage
32 1933 Shirley Barker The Dark Hills Under
31 1932 Paul Engle Worn Earth
30 1931 Dorothy Belle Flanagan (aka Dorothy B. Hughes) Dark Certainty
29 1930 Louise Owen Virtuosa
28 1929 Henri Faust Half-Light and Overture
27 1929 Frances M. Frost Hemlock Wall
26 1928 Francis Claiborne Mason This Unchanging Mask
25 1928 Ted Olson A Stranger and Afraid
24 1928 Mildred Bowers Twist o’ Smoke
23 1927 Lindley Williams Hubbell Dark Pavilion
22 1926 Thomas Hornsby Ferril High Passage
21 1926 Eleanor Slater Quest
20 1925 Dorothy E. Reid Coach into Pumpkin
19 1924 Elizabeth Jessup Blake Up and Down
18 1923 Beatrice E. Harmon Mosaics
17 1923 Marion M. Boyd Silver Wands
16 1923 Amos Niven Wilder Battle-Retrospect
15 1923 Dean B. Lyman, Jr. The Last Lutanist
14 1922 Paul Tanaquil Attitudes
13 1922 Bernard Raymund Hidden Waters
12 1922 Medora C. Addison Dreams and a Sword
11 1922 Harold Vinal White April
10 1921 Oscar Williams Golden Darkness
9 1921 Hervey Allen Wampum and Old Gold
8 1921 Viola C. White Horizons
7 1921 Theodore H. Banks, Jr Wild Geese
6 1920 Darl MacLeod Boyle Where Lilith Dances
5 1920 Thomas Caldecot Chubb The White God and Other Poems
4 1920 Alfred Raymond Bellinger Spires and Poplars
3 1920 David Osborne Hamilton Four Gardens
2 1919 John C. Farrar Forgotten Shrines
1 1919 Howard Buck The Tempering

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bradley, George (Editor).The Yale Younger Poets Anthology, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, p. 50, Introduction. ISBN 0300074727-0300074735
  2. ^ a b Peter Davison (June 1998). "Discovering Young Poets". The Atlantic. 
  3. ^ Paul Alexander (2003). Rough Magic. Da Capo Press. pp. 208–209. ISBN 978-0-306-81299-6. 
  4. ^ Meghan O'Rourke (August 2008). "On Louise Glück and the Yale Series of Younger Poets". The Kenyon Review. 
  5. ^ Bradley, George (Editor).The Yale Younger Poets Anthology, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, Table of Contents, pp.5-15. ISBN 0300074727-0300074735
  6. ^ "Yale Younger Poets Prize goes to Ansel Elkins". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Eryn Green Wins Yale Younger Poets Prize". Poets & Writers. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 

External links[edit]