The Loraine Williams Poetry Prize

Photo by Shannon Greer

We are pleased to announce that Dawn Lundy Martin will serve as the final judge for the 2022 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize. Martin is the Toi Derricotte Endowed Chair in English at the University of Pittsburgh as well as the director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics, which she co-founded with Terrance Hayes. Her books include A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering (UGA Press, 2007), which won the Cave Canem Prize; Life in a Box is a Pretty Life (Nightboat, 2015), which won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry; and, most recently, Good Stock / Strange Blood (Coffee House, 2017), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award. She wrote the libretto for the video opera Good Stock on the Dimension Floor, which was mounted at the 2014 Whitney Biennial, among other places. Her essays have appeared in venues like The New Yorker, n+1, and boundary 2. Her memoir, When a Person Goes Missing, will be published by Pantheon Books.

The Loraine Williams Poetry Prize is an award for a single poem, to be published in The Georgia Review. The winner will receive an honorarium of $1,500 and an expenses-paid trip to Athens, Georgia, to give a public reading with the judge.

Annual time frame: Submissions to be considered for the Loraine Williams Poetry Prize must be sent either online from March 1 through May 1 or by regular mail postmarked within the same span of time. The winning poem and author will be announced by August 15, and the poem will appear in the Winter issue of the same year. All submitted poems will be considered for publication in The Georgia Review; any selected will be paid our regular poetry honorarium of $4 per line.

Entry requirements: No simultaneously submitted work. An entry may include one, two, or three poems, but no more than a total of ten standard pages in 12-point or larger type. Work previously published in any form will not be considered. Current subscribers to The Georgia Review may enter the competition free of charge*; non-subscribers may begin a subscription at the time of entry (visit our shop to begin your subscription with Spring 2022) or pay an entry fee of $15 via Submittable.

*Current subscribers (those with an active, paid subscription) should email and provide their name and mailing address in order to receive a link to submit for free. Please allow 24 hours for your request to be processed.

Postal submissions: Include (1) a cover letter that provides the submitter’s phone number and email address and confirms that the poem or poems will not be under consideration elsewhere during the judging period, (2) a self-addressed and stamped envelope for announcement of contest winner and notice of whether your work has been selected for publication, and (3) if you are not a current subscriber, a check for either $40 to begin your subscription or $15 to cover your entry fee. Checks should be made payable to The Georgia Review, and envelopes should be addressed to The Loraine Williams Poetry Prize, The Georgia Review, Room 706A Main Library, the University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-9009.

Online submissions: Instructions for submitting online can be found on Submittable. No prize entries will be accepted until March 1, and submissions will close May 1.

Please note that students, faculty, staff, and administrators currently affiliated with the University of Georgia are ineligible for the LWPP. Intimate friends, relatives, colleagues, and former or current students of a judge are also ineligible to enter. Previous winners of our contest should wait three years before entering again.


The Georgia Review 
thanks the late Loraine Williams for her sponsorship of this prize. Ms. Williams was a longtime Atlanta-based patron of the arts.