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Unterberg Poetry Center

The Joan Leiman Jacobson Poetry Prizes

“Winning Discovery was a life-changing, life-altering event. It is a humbling honor to join this historical roster of poets whom I admire and who inspire me. My life is so much brighter—for my friendships with those who organize this opportunity, and for the new relationships forged with fellow contest winners and the esteemed judges. It was and is a dream come true—a dream more rhapsodic than one I could have imagined. I wish this dream for everyone I love.”

—2017 Discovery winner Diana Khoi Nguyen, author of Ghost Of, a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry

For over 60 years 92Y’s Discovery Contest has launched the careers of major poets like John Ashbery, Lucille Clifton, Mark Strand, Mary Jo Bang and Solmaz Sharif, to name 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

Applications must be submitted by Friday, January 11, 2019, at 5 pm.

To apply, read the guidelines and submit here.

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

Preliminary Judges

Timothy Donnelly

Timothy Donnelly is the author of Twenty-seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebenszeit and The Cloud Corporation, for which he won the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award …

Mai Der Vang

Mai Der Vang is the author of Afterland, for which she won the 2016 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, …

Final Judges

Daniel Borzutzky

Daniel Borzutzky is the author of Lake Michigan and The Performance of Becoming Human, for which he won the 2016 National Book Award for Poetry …

Randall Mann

Randall Mann is the author of Complaint in the Garden, for which he won the Kenyon Review Prize in Poetry; …

Patricia Smith

Patricia Smith is the author of eight books of poetry, including Incendiary Art, for which she won the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, …