The Loraine Williams Poetry Prize

Cole Swenson author photo

Cole Swensen, judge of the 2024 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize, is the author of nineteen books of poetry, most recently And And And (Shearsman Books, 2023); a collection of hybrid ekphrastic essay-poems, Art in Time (Nightboat Books, 2021); and a volume of critical essays, Noise that Stays Noise (University of Michigan Press, 2011). She is a former Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the Iowa Poetry Prize, the San Francisco State University Poetry Center Book Award, a National Poetry Series selection, and the PEN USA Award in Translation. She has been a finalist twice for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and once for the National Book Award, and was a permanent faculty member at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for ten years and in Brown University’s Department of Literary Arts for twelve years.


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.

Annual time frame: Submissions to be considered for the Loraine Williams Poetry Prize must be sent either online from February 7 through May 15 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. 

Submissions must be sent either through Submittable between February 7 and May 15 or by regular mail postmarked within the same span of time. Only one entry per writer. Submissions cost $30, which includes a one-year subscription to The Georgia Review. (Current subscribers will receive a one-year extension.)

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 $30 to begin your subscription. 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 February 7, and submissions will close May 15.

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.