Lucille Clifton Prize

The Lucille Clifton annual poetry contest, held each spring, honors the prolific work of poet great Lucille Clifton. Widely celebrated for her unpretentious and unapologetic poems, Clifton’s unique free verse was free of punctuation, taut, and always recognizably her.

We are currently accepting submissions for our 2018 Lucille Clifton Poetry Prize. Please submit no more than (3) unpublished poems via our submission form. The work cannot be under consideration by any other publisher. One winner will be selected by the final judge, Camille Dungy. Winner receives publication via our website, $500.00 prize, and a set of (3) poetry collections by Clifton courtesy of BOA Editions. Submission will be accepted April 15th-June 15th.

About the Judge:

Camille Dungy’s full-length poetry publications include Trophic Cascade (2017); Smith Blue (2011), a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America; Suck on the Marrow (2010), winner of an American Book Award, a California Book Award silver medal, and the Northern California book award; and the sonnet collection What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison (2006), a finalist for both the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the Library of Virginia Literary Award. She is a professor of English a Colorado State University and professor of Creative Writing at San Francisco State University.

The Life & Work of Lucille Clifton Tribute Panel, AWP 2018.

In March we celebrated Lucille Clifton in a rousing tribute at AWP Tampa with panelists Tara Betts, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Jonathan Farmer, and Crystal Simone Smith. Once available, we will place a link to the full podcast on the website. Please read a portion of Sidney Clifton’s offering to her mother’s memory here:

…she was lucky, she was a poet. When we talked about how she walked the tightrope of family and art, the simple answer was “poems”. The more authentic answer is to let your children know that your art is not what you do, it is who you are. Let them see you, and through changes and pain and triumph you will all be lifted up. 

-Sidney Clifton


Previous Winners

Catherine Ntube, 2017

Malcolm Friend, 2016

Carlos Andres Gomez, 2015

Joshua Bennett, 2014

Issa M. Lewis, 2013