New York, NY (June 13, 2023)—The Academy of American Poets is pleased to announce that Victoria Chang will judge the 2024 Academy of American Poets First Book Award, the nation’s most generous first-book prize for poetry. The winner will receive $5,000 and their manuscript will be published by Graywolf Press in 2025. In addition, the Academy of American Poets will purchase and send thousands of copies of the book to its 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 Civitella Ranieri in Umbria, Italy, and will be featured in American Poets magazine and on, which reaches millions of readers each year.

Established in 1975, the Academy of American Poets First Book Award is designed to encourage the work of emerging poets and enable the publication of a poet’s first book. Previous recipients include Alberto Ríos, Christopher Gilbert, Matt Rasmussen, Mai Der Vang, Leah Naomi Green, Threa Almontaser, and Kemi Alabi. The most recent winner of the prize was Sara Daniele Rivera for her book The Blue Mimes, which was selected by judge Eduardo C. Corral and will be published by Graywolf Press in April 2024.

The Academy of American Poets First Book Award is one of the annual American Poets Prizes, a collection of twelve major prizes given by the Academy, and is currently made possible by financial support from our members. Other prizes include the Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships and the Academy of American Poets Fellowship.

Submissions to the 2024 Academy of American Poets First Book Award will be accepted online between July 1 and September 1, 2023, and the recipient will be announced in late March 2024, in anticipation 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  

About Victoria Chang

Victoria Chang’s forthcoming book of poems is With My Back to the World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2024). Other recent books include The Trees Witness Everything (Copper Canyon Press, 2022), which was named one of the Best Books of 2022 by The New Yorker and the Guardian; Dear Memory (Milkweed Editions, 2021); and OBIT (Copper Canyon Press, 2020), a National Book Award nominee and winner of the 2018 Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Voelcker Award. The recipient of a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2023 Chowdhury Prize in Literature, Chang served as poetry editor of The New York Times Magazine in 2022 and was the Poem-a-Day Guest Editor in May 2019. She lives in Los Angeles. 

About the Academy of American Poets

Founded in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is the nation’s leading champion of poets and poetry with supporters in all fifty states and beyond. The organization annually awards $1.3+ million to more than two hundred poets at various stages of their careers through its prize program, which includes the Poet Laureate Fellowships. The organization also produces, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; established and organizes National Poetry Month each April; publishes the popular Poem-a-Day series and American Poets magazine; provides free resources to K–12 educators, including the award-winning weekly Teach This Poem series; hosts an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and coordinates a national Poetry Coalition that promotes the value poets bring to our culture. To learn more about the Academy of American Poets, including its staff, its Board of Directors, and its Board of Chancellors, visit:

About Civitella Ranieri

Located in a fifteenth-century castle in Umbria, Italy, Civitella Ranieri is a residency for international writers, composers, and visual artists. Since 1995, Civitella has hosted more than one thousand Fellows and Director’s Guests. In keeping with the spirit of its founder, Ursula Corning, and the tradition of hospitality and support for the arts that she established at the castle, Civitella enables its Fellows to pursue their work and to exchange ideas in a unique and beautiful setting. For more information, visit

About Graywolf Press

Graywolf Press is a leading independent publisher committed to the discovery and energetic publication of twenty-first century American and international literature. Graywolf champions outstanding writers at all stages of their careers to ensure that adventurous readers can find underrepresented and diverse voices in a crowded marketplace. For more information, visit