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     Arthur Smith Poetry Prize (2024)

appalachian mountains in north carolina

The Arthur Smith Poetry Prize will open again for submissions on June 1, 2024. We find it hard to believe this will already be our fourth such competition. Read more about the Arthur Smith Poetry Prize.


Accepting Submissions June 1 through September 30, 2024.

Winners will be announced in January 2025

Winning poet receives: a $1,000 advance; a standard royalty contract +10 gratis copies of the book when it is completed.

Finalists will also be considered for future publication.

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(opens June 1st!)

2024  Final Judge:

Allison Joseph is a chocolate skinned woman and in this picture she wears a bright pink sleeveless top. she has a gentle close-lipped smile, and wire-rimmed glasses. Her dark hair is pulled back.She sits in a natural setting with an old stone wall behind her.

Allison Joseph directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University. She serves as poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review, the publisher of No Chair Press, and the director of Writers In Common, a writing conference for writers of all ages and experience levels.

Her poetry collection, Confessions of a Barefaced Woman (Red Hen 2018), was the Gold/First Place Winner in the 2019 Feathered Quill Book Awards poetry category.Her books and chapbooks also include What Keeps Us Here (Ampersand), Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon UP), In Every Seam (University of Pittsburgh Press), Worldly Pleasures (Word Tech Communications), Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon UP), Voice: Poems (Mayapple Press), My Father’s Kites (Steel Toe Books), Trace Particles (Backbone Press), Little Epiphanies (NightBallet Press), Mercurial (Mayapple Press), Mortal Rewards (White Violet Press), Multitudes (Word Poetry), The Purpose of Hands (Glass Lyre Press), Double Identity (Singing Bone Press) Corporal Muse (Sibling Rivalry Press) and What Once You Loved (Barefoot Muse Press).

Preliminary Readers:

Shlagha Borah is a woman with Asian features and long dark hair. She wears a spaghetti-string top and a serious expression in this black-and-white photo.

Shlagha Borah (she/her) is from Assam, India. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Cincinnati Review, ANMLY, Salamander, Nashville Review, Florida Review, and elsewhere. She received an MFA in Poetry from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and is an Editorial Assistant at The Offing. She has received support for her work from Brooklyn Poets, SAFTA, The Hambidge Center, The Peter Bullough Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She co-founded Pink Freud, a student-led collective working towards making mental health accessible in India. Find her on Instagram @shlaghab and X @shlaghaborah.

(photo by Rajdeep Kataki)

Edison Jennings lives in Southern Appalachia, working as a Head Start aide and GED tutor. He holds a Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship. His poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, Poetry Daily, Rattle, Slate, Southern Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. His book, Intentional Fallacies, is available at Broadstone Books.

(photo from https://www.towncreekpoetry.com/FALL11/EJ_INTERVIEW.htm)

Competition Guidelines

  • Eligibility: We will be happy to receive work by any poet writing in English. Poems published in print or online periodicals, anthologies, or chapbooks may be included, but the manuscript itself must be unpublished. Original work only; translations are ineligible.
  • Format: Minimum of 48 pages. There is no maximum length, but we expect manuscripts not to be much more than 90 pages. Pages should be numbered with no more than one poem per page. Please include a title page with title only, a table of contents, and an acknowledgments page.
  • Simultaneous Submissions: Simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Please notify Madville Publishing immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
  • Multiple Submissions: Submission of more than one manuscript is acceptable, but each manuscript must be submitted separately and include a separate entry fee.
  • International Submissions: We accept international submissions.
  •  Revisions: The winner will have the opportunity to revise the manuscript before publication. No revisions will be considered during the reading period.
  • SUBMISSIONS SHOULD BE BLIND. PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE AUTHOR NAME ANYWHERE ON THE MANUSCRIPT.
  • Entry Fee: $25
  • Deadline: September 30, 2024
  • Winner will be announced January 2025.

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Fantastic Imaginary Creatures

Fantastic Imaginary Creatures: An Anthology of Contemporary Prose Poems edited by Gerry LaFemina. Cover shows a clay figure painted in bright red and green. The creature has wings and pointy spikes that look like pens coming out of his head, and a big toothy grin.

An Anthology of Contemporary Prose Poems edited by Gerry LaFemina

2023 Acceptances Announced

Anthology publication planned for  Spring 2024.

This is the call Gerry LaFemina put out for this anthology: 

The prose poem is the literary sphinx, the literary chimera, minotaur, gryphon–part one thing, part another and at their best, they’re magical, mythical. Fantastic Imaginary Creatures seeks to collect the best contemporary prose poems that demonstrate the potentiality and plasticity the form allows, previously published or brand spanking new. We’re not looking for short short stories, but rather work that explores the liminal space between story and lyric, the luminous spark of possibility in the form.

And of the many fine poets who answered Gerry’s call, these are the poets and the poems Gerry selected:

Valerie Bacharach“Momento Mori”

Ujjvala Bagal-Rahn

“Just Enough House”
Ned Balbo “O Christmas Tree,” and “That Which We Discard We Also Cherish”
Madeleine Barnes “Key Rock,” and “Self Portrait in My Mother’s Closing Lines”
Michelle Boczek Evory “Absolution,” and “Dislocation”
Rick Campbell “Parable of the Forest Pygmy,” and “Forgetting the Nicene Creed”
Joseph Capista “Room for Error,” “Myth,” and “Song”
Gary Ciocco “Being and Becoming”
TS Coody “Mimesis”
Jim Daniels “With Apologies to the Tom Tom Club,” and “At Last”
Anthony DiMatteo “Every Time”
gary fincke “The Hands”
Jeff Friedman “Giver of Gifts,” “Terrorists,” and “Lost Memory”
Molly Fuller “Home Again, Home Again,” and “Tale of the Flopsy Bunny”
Joy Gaines-Friedler “Daffodils,” “Act 20:14,” “Traveling with the Band,” and “The Children’s Ward”
George Guida “Trip Wire,” and “The story of a Life”
Luke Hankins “A Voice out of the Ruins”
Gretchen Heyer“Pasiphae Answers Questions,” “Missionaries Breakfasted on the Word of God,” and “Jute, Two Inches in Diameter”
Tom Hunley “My Chili Recipe (An Ars Poetica)” and “Questions for Further Study”
Anna Jacobson “This is to That”
Peter Johnson “Vaccination, in the Broadest Sense of the Term,” “Crickets,” and “Nice Socks”
Richard Jordan “Jesus in the Café,” “With Feathers,” and “Mackerel Day”
Elizabeth Kerlikowske “At 45th Parallel, Halfway Between the Equator and the North Pole,” and “Tabula Rasa”
Nina Kossman “Kharkiv”
Gerry LaFemina “Fantastic Imaginary Creatures,” “Happy Pigs,” and “Bad Medicine”
Joseph Lerner “The Black Egret”
Geri Lipschultz “Aphrodite in Manhattan”
Lorette C. Luzajic “Feathers,” and “January River”
Gary McDowell “Prose Poem on the Nature of Things; or, Armchair Philosophy,” and “Another Apocalypse”
Kathleen McGookey “Night Sky with Calculus Worksheet”
Jennifer Militello “Identifying the Pathogen,” “Dear B,” and “Antidote with Attempts at Diagnosis”
Robert Miltner “Wolf Dancing,” and “Hopeless”
Erin Murphy “Ekphrasis,” “Gerunding,” and “Hula Dancer”
kerry neville “Decade”
Robert Perchan “The Unselfish Elfins with their Trusty Hammers,” “At Home with Marlboro Jones,” and “The Orgun Box Junkies”
Christine Rhein “Drone Pilot,” and “Sunday Night Retail”
Jane Satterfield “Latin 121,” and “Abbreviated Inventory”
Katherine Smith “Crossword,” and “Quilt”
Joshua Michael Stewart “Yellow,” and “Book of Love”
Virgil Suárez “Chinese Weather Balloon”
Matthew Thorburn “A Hundred Birds,” and “How it Starts”
Eric Torgersen “My Blindness”
Patricia Valdata “Mayfly”
Doug Van Gundy “Sideshow, Barbour County Fairgrounds, 1975,” and “To Join the Circus”
Elinor Ann Walker “Object Impermanence,” and “Fugue State”
Greg Watson “Why I Live in a Cold Climate”
Cathy Wittmeyer “Max Beckmann, Still Life with Fallen Candles, oil on canvas, 1929,” and “Otto Dix, Horse Cadaver, etching & drypoint, 1924”
George Yatchisin “Leap Year”
Michael T. Young “Quoting Blake to Mother,” and “Sweaty Palms”

About the editor, Gerry LaFemina

Gerry LaFemina’s flash creative nonfiction essay collection, The Pursuit: A Meditation on Happiness, came out in 2022. His poetry collections include Baby Steps in Doomsday Prepping, The Story of Ash and Little Heretic. His essays on prosody, Palpable Magic, came out in 2015 and Kendall Hunt recently released his textbook, Composing Poetry: A Guide to Writing Poems and Thinking Lyrically.