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Unterberg Poetry Center

The Joan Leiman Jacobson Poetry Prizes

For over 60 years 92Y’s Discovery Contest has launched the careers of major poets like John Ashbery, Lucille Clifton, Mark Strand, Larry Levis, Mary Jo Bang, Solmaz Sharif and Diana Khoi Nguyen, to name but a few. Will you be next?

Four winners receive a reading at 92Y, publication in The Paris Review Daily, a two-night residency at the ACE Hotel, and $500 each.

Read selections by last year's winners: Alfredo Aguilar, Bernard Ferguson, Omotara James, Alycia Pirmohamed.

Applications must be submitted by Friday, January 10, 2020, at 5 pm.

To apply, read the guidelines and submit here.

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


Alfredo Aguilar

Alfredo Aguilar is the son of Mexican immigrants. He is the author of the chapbook What Happens on Earth

Bernard Ferguson

Bernard Ferguson is a Bahamian immigrant poet, an MFA candidate at NYU, a Writers in the Public Schools fellow and an Assistant Editor at Washington Square Review

Omotara James

Omotara James is the author of the chapbook Daughter Tongue, selected by African Poetry Book Fund for the 2018 New Generation African Poets Box Set …

Alycia Pirmohamed

Alycia Pirmohamed is a Canadian-born poet living in Scotland, where she is completing a PhD at the University of Edinburgh …

Preliminary Judges

Timothy Donnelly

Timothy Donnelly is the author of Twenty-Seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebenszeit

Diana Marie Delgado

Diana Marie Delgado is the author of Tracing the Horse and the chapbook Late Night Talks with Men I Think I Trust

Final Judges

Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown is the author of Please, which received the 2009 American Book Award …

Paisley Rekdal

Paisley Rekdal is the author of Animal Eye, a finalist for the 2013 Kingsley Tufts Prize and winner of the UNT Rilke Prize …

Wendy Xu

Born in Shandong, China, poet Wendy Xu is the author of You Are Not Dead and Phrasis, winner of the Ottoline Prize …


Faith Arkorful
Chelsea B. DesAutels
Jean Balderston
Adam Bangser
Lesya Bazylewicz
Jeanette Beebe
Heather Bourbeau
Kinsey Cantrell
Holli Carrell
William Leo Coakley
Caitlin Cowan
Ann DeVilbiss
Ruth Dickey
Richard Downing
Asa Drake
Joe Gutierrez
W.J. Herbert
Jose Hernandez Diaz
Jordan Hewson
Paul Ceballos Hlava
Darrel Alejandro Holnes
Christopher Janigian
Robert Julius
Trevor Ketner
Michael Lee
Esther Lin
Lucia LoTempio
Mark Mazzoli
Marcus Myers
C. L. O'Dell
Nathan Osorio
Oscar Oswald
Allyson Paty
Laura Paul Watson
Richard Quigley
Rob Shapiro
D. M. Spratley
Taylor Supplee
Jeannette Vautier
Nick Visconti
Ralf Webb
Jihyun Yun
Kelleen Zubick

Please note that all 92Y regularly scheduled in-person programs are suspended.