The Academy of American Poets is pleased to announce that Claudia Rankine, author of the award-winning collection Citizen, will judge the 2021 Academy of American Poets First Book Award, the nation’s most generous first-book prize for poetry. The winner will receive $5,000 and the winning manuscript will be published by Graywolf Press in 2022. In addition, the Academy of American Poets will purchase and send thousands of copies of the book to our members, which will make it one of the most widely distributed poetry books of the year. The winner will also receive a six-week all-expenses-paid residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy, and will be featured in American Poets magazine and on, which reaches millions of readers each year.

Submissions to the 2021 Academy of American Poets First Book Award are being accepted online between now (September 16) and November 16, 2020, and the recipient will be announced in April 2021, the twenty-fifth anniversary of National Poetry Month. All poets who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. 

To review the eligibility requirements and official guidelines, and to submit to the Academy of American Poets First Book Award, visit:

Read the full press release.