The Joan Leiman Jacobson Poetry Prizes are presented by the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center and Boston Review. Many winners of this contest have gone on to distinguished careers as poets.

The “Discovery” Poetry Contest is designed to attract large audiences to poets who have not yet published a full-length book. Four winners are awarded a reading at 92Y, publication in Boston Review and $500 each.

The preliminary judges for the 2015 contest are Timothy Donnelly and Camille Rankine. The final judges are Peter Gizzi, Atsuro Riley and Susan Stewart. The deadline for receipt of manuscripts is 5 pm on Fri, Jan 23, 2015.

See guidelines

Preliminary Judges

Timothy Donnelly, poetry editor at Boston Review, is the author of Twenty-seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebenszeit and The Cloud Corporation, for which he won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. He has been honored with The Paris Review’s Bernard F. Connors Prize, as well as with fellowships from the New York State Writers Institute and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is associate professor in creative writing and director of undergraduate creative writing at Columbia University.

Camille Rankine is the author of Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the PSA's 2010 New York Chapbook Fellowship. Her first full-length collection, Incorrect Merciful Impulses, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press. The recipient of a 2010 "Discovery"/Boston Review Poetry Prize, she was featured as an emerging poet in the fall 2010 issue of American Poet and the April 2011 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. She is Assistant Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Manhattanville College, editorial director of The Manhattanville Review and lives in New York City, where she sings with the band Miru Mir.

Final Judges

Peter Gizzi’s most recent book is In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems 1987-201. His honors include the Lavan Younger Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets and fellowships in poetry from The Fund for Poetry, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2011 he was the Judith E. Wilson Visiting Fellow in Poetry at Cambridge University. His work has been translated into numerous languages and anthologized here and abroad.

Atsuro Riley is the author of Romey's Order and a recipient of the Whiting Writers' Award, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship, The Believer Poetry Award, the Witter Bynner Award from The Library of Congress, the Pushcart Prize, the Wood Prize from Poetry magazine and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. He grew up in South Carolina.

Susan Stewart is the author of Columbarium, for which she won the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Red Rover. Among her honors are fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA and the Lila Wallace Foundation. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005, and in 2010 she received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She currently serves as professor of English at Princeton University.


This contest is endowed by Joan L. and Dr. Julius H. Jacobson, II.