2018 Poetry Society of Virginia Book Award Contest

All contests are closed out for this year. Judging is underway.


The book of poetry submitted must be the work of a single author of at least 48 pages published in 2017 by an established press. Manuscripts, videos, CDs, and chapbooks are not accepted, nor are books that have won awards. It is expected that books will contain a collection of new poems and/or previously published poems.

Submission Date
Three copies of the submitted book must be sent to Nancy Powell (postmarked on or before January 15, 2018). Nancy Powell 164 Mill Point Drive Hampton, VA 23669

The Award Committee
Chaired by Nancy Powell, the Award Committee is composed of Henry Hart, Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, Sofia Starnes, and Joshua Poteat.

Final Judge: Rita Sims Quillen

Rita Quillen’s new full-length poetry collection, THE MAD FARMER’S WIFE, was published in 2016 by Texas Review Press, a Texas A & M affiliation and was a finalist for the prestigious Weatherford Award in Appalachian Literature from Berea College. Rita Quillen’s novel HIDING EZRA, released by Little Creek Books, was a finalist for the 2005 DANA Awards, and a chapter of the novel is included in TALKING APPALACHIAN , a scholarly study of Appalachian dialect published by the University of Kentucky Press in 2014. She also published a new poetry chapbook from Finishing Line Press in 2014 titled SOMETHING SOLID TO ANCHOR TO.  
One of six semi- finalists for the 2012-14 Poet Laureate of Virginia, she received a Pushcart nomination in 2012 and 2015, and a Best of the Net nomination in 2012. Her most recent full-length collection, HER SECRET DREAM, is from WIND Press in Kentucky and was named the Outstanding Poetry Book of the Year by the Appalachian Writers Association in 2008.  Previous works are poetry collections OCTOBER DUSK and COUNTING THE SUMS, and a book of essays LOOKING FOR NATIVE GROUND:  CONTEMPORARY APPALACHIAN POETRY.

Her poetry, short stories, reviews and essays have been widely published in anthologies and literary magazines, including ANTIETAM REVIEW, ROANOKE REVIEW, PEACOCK JOURNAL, CHATTAHOOCHIE REVIEW, CONNOTATION ONLINE, POTOMAC REVIEW, TEXAS REVIEW, BLUE FIFTH REVIEW, APPALACHIAN HERITAGE, LAUREL REVIEW, TEXAS REVIEW, APPALACHIAN JOURNAL, ARTEMIS, and the BIRMINGHAM ARTS JOURNAL, and she was anthologized in BLOODROOT and in the Appalachian volume of the SOUTHERN POETRY ANTHOLOGY series published by Texas Review Press.
 She lives and farms on Early Autumn Farm in Scott County, Virginia.

You can learn much more about her, her work, and the beautiful Appalachian mountains at her website.

The winner will receive a plaque, a $300 monetary award, and will be recognized at the May Poetry Festival of the Poetry Society of Virginia.

Fees $25 for members of the PSV; $35 for non-members (includes one-year membership to PSV)

Questions: Click here to contact Nancy Powell