Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award

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The Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award was established in 1994 by The Formalist, a poetry magazine founded by William Baer. The award honors the poet Howard Nemerov (1920–1991). It is an open competition for sonnets in English that draws about 3000 entries annually. The purpose of the award is to get the public to notice good, but not well-known, poets. [1][2] The award itself is $1000. From 1995–2004, the sonnets by the winner and by eleven finalists were published in The Formalist; following the discontinuation of The Formalist in 2004, the winning and eleven finalist poems have been published in the literary magazine Measure.[3] The creation of the award is associated with the "New Formalism" movement.

In the announcement of the 2017 winner and finalists, A.M. Juster described the 2017 contest as the "24th & final" contest. [4]

List of winners[edit]

The winners, judges, and winning sonnets from 1994–2011 were posted on a webpage of The Formalist;[5] references for subsequent winners are provided in the table.

Past Winners
Year Poet Sonnet Judge
2017 Carol Frith[6] Dying Firethorn Dana Gioia[7]
2016 Midge Goldberg[8] Tennis Practice Against the Garage Door Rachel Hadas
2015 D. R. Goodman[9] All the Dropped Things Gail White
2014 Marty Steyer[10] Caliban Is Not R.S. Gwynn
2013 Gail White[11] Tourist in India Dick Davis
2012 Gail White[12] Old Photographs Rhina Espaillat
2011 Robert W. Crawford[13] Odds Are A. M. Juster
2010 Catherine Chandler[14] Coming to Terms A. E. Stallings
2009 Richard Wakefield[15] Petrarch David Middleton
2008 Stephen Scaer Sightseers Timothy Steele
2007 A. M. Juster[2] No Frederick Turner
2006 Robert W. Crawford The Empty Chair Andrew Hudgins
2005 Marion Shore Petrarch on West 115th Street Charles Martin
2004 A. E. Stallings Hank Williams Blues Rachel Hadas
2003 Rhina Espaillat Discovery Dana Gioia
2002 Marion Shore Embarking Wyatt Prunty
2001 Deborah Warren Baggage X. J. Kennedy
2000 A. M. Juster Note from Echo W. D. Snodgrass
1999 Bob McKenty Chain Poem Wendy Cope
1998 Rhina Espaillat Contingencies John Frederick Nims
1997 Madeleine Mysko Incipient Fireworks Donald Justice
1996 Timothy Murphy The Track of the Storm Anthony Hecht
1995 A. M. Juster Moscow Zoo Mona Van Duyn
1994 Sarah Birnbaum Jo Painted Richard Wilbur

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award". Retrieved 2016-05-13. 
  2. ^ a b Juster, Mike (October 2008). "So you want to win a Nemerov?". 14by14 (6). Retrieved 2009-03-25.  Essay by three-time Nemerov Award winner Mike Juster.
  3. ^ Measure is a literary journal founded in 2005 by Paul Bone and Rob Griffith. Two issues are published each year. See "Measure Press: The Journal". Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  4. ^ Juster, A.M. (January 18, 2018). "Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award results". Able Muse. Retrieved 2018-01-18. 
  5. ^ "Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award Winners". The Formalist. University of Evansville. Archived from the original on 2013-05-23. 
  6. ^ Juster, A.M. (January 18, 2018). "Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award results". Able Muse. Retrieved 2018-01-18.  Includes list of finalists.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Juster, A.M. (January 1, 2017). "The 2016 Nemerov Sonnet Award". Able Muse. Retrieved 2017-01-02.  Includes list of finalists.
  9. ^ "The Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award" (PDF). University of Evansville. Retrieved 2016-08-07.  Includes list of finalists.
  10. ^ Corbett, Maryann (January 18, 2015). "Nemerov results". Able Muse. Retrieved 2015-01-18.  Includes link to list of finalists.
  11. ^ Chandler, Catherine (January 28, 2014). "Gail White Wins the Nemerov (Again!)". Able Muse. Retrieved 2014-01-28.  Includes list of finalists.
  12. ^ Cantor, Michael (January 29, 2013). "Gail White Wins the Nemerov". Able Muse. Retrieved 2013-07-03.  Includes list of finalists.
  13. ^ Kreiling, Jean L. (January 27, 2012). "Bob Crawford Wins Nemerov". Able Muse. Retrieved 2012-01-27.  Includes list of finalists.
  14. ^ Cantor, Michael (February 11, 2011). "Catherine Chandler Wins Nemerov". Able Muse. Retrieved 2011-03-08.  Includes list of finalists.
  15. ^ "TCC Faculty Member Richard Wakefield wins Howard Nemerov Sonnet Competition" (Press release). Tacoma Community College. 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-08-02. [dead link]