• The James Laughlin Award is given to honor a second full-length print book of original poetry, in English, by a living poet, forthcoming in the next calendar year.
  • Any poet who meets one of the below criteria on the date of the application deadline, in any given year, is eligible to apply:
    • U.S. Citizen; or,
    • resident of the United States for the ten-year period prior to the submission deadline, or;
    • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Legal Permanent Status (LPS), or any subsequent categories designated by the U.S. authorities as conferring similar enhanced status upon non-citizens living in the United States.

Please note: By law the Academy of American Poets must report cash prizes awarded to individuals to the Internal Revenue Service. If individuals have a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), the individual will receive a 1099. If the individual does not have an SSN or ITIN, the individual will receive a 1042 and could be subject to a withholding of a percentage of the cash prize.

  • To be eligible for the award in 2024, a book must be under contract with a U.S. publisher and scheduled to be published between January 1, 2025, and December 31, 2025. Winning books must be published by December 31, 2025.
  • To be eligible, an author must have published one book of poetry in a standard edition (48 pages or more). The publication of chapbooks (less than 48 pages) does not disqualify an author.
  • Entries must be at least 48 pages total (suggested length: 48 to 100 pages).
  • Entries must be submitted in manuscript form (or page proofs) so the jury can review them without considering the books’ design. Galleys will not be accepted.
  • To submit an entry, publishers must upload a PDF copy of the manuscript to Submittable. A completed entry form via Submittable signifying the publisher’s acceptance of these guidelines is required for each title submitted.
  • There is no fee to enter.
  • The winner will be announced in September 2024.
  • The author’s name should not be included in running heads or appear on any page. Acknowledgements may be included.
  • Submissions are welcome from small presses, university presses, and trade publishers that have previously published at least four books of poetry.
  • Translations and new editions of previously published books are not eligible.
  • The Academy of American Poets agrees to purchase approximately one thousand copies of the winning book for distribution to its members. The Academy of American Poets may purchase additional copies of the book for its own use, but not for resale. No royalties will be paid to the author on the copies purchased by the Academy of American Poets. The publisher agrees to sell to the Academy of American Poets the number of copies requested at a standard paper, printing, and binding, or at-cost discount.
  • The publisher agrees to announce and publish the winning book as the Academy of American Poets James Laughlin Award Winner. The publisher also agrees to include a seal on all of the books, identifying the winning book as such. The Academy of American Poets will provide the publisher with the seal design as an electronic file. Any subsequent reprintings of the book must comply with the aforementioned stipulations.
  • The decisions of the Academy of American Poets regarding eligibility are final.
  • All correspondence concerning the contest should be addressed to the Academy of American Poets and sent to [email protected].

    Please note: It’s the mission of the Academy of American Poets to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry. In furtherance of our mission, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of quality and integrity in our publications and programs, and expect and require the same from the poets with whom we collaborate.

    All applicants and selected award recipients agree that, as part of their eligibility to receive the James Laughlin Award, they will maintain the highest standards of fairness, decency and personal integrity, in the Academy’s sole discretion, including with adherence to all applicable laws and community values. The decisions of the Academy of American Poets regarding eligibility, both initial and throughout the award period, are final.