Dr. Mary Biddinger, Professor of English and Editor of the Akron Series in Poetry, will continue in both roles at the University of Akron Press.


The Akron Series in Poetry was founded to bring to the public writers who speak in original and compelling voices. Each year, The University of Akron Press offers the Akron Poetry Prize, a competition open to all poets writing in English. The winning poet receives $1,500 and publication of his or her book. The final selection will be made by a nationally prominent poet. The final judge for 2016 is Allison Joseph. Other manuscripts may also be considered for publication in the series.

Guidelines for Submission

1. Manuscripts must be a total length of at least 48 pages and no longer than 90 pages. Individual poems may have appeared in chapbooks or literary magazines, but we are unable to consider collections that have been previously published as a full-length volume. Translations are not eligible.

2. Manuscripts must include a cover page (with author's name, mailing address, phone number, email address, and manuscript title), a title page (with no identifying information), and an acknowledgments page listing poems previously published in periodicals (if applicable). Please do not submit manuscripts that have the author's name on each page. Manuscripts will go to the final judge blind.

3.Manuscripts will be accepted via Submittable between April 15 and June 15 of each year. The link to The University of Akron Press Submittable page will be posted here on April 15. Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but The University of Akron Press must be notified immediately if the manuscript is accepted elsewhere.

4. An entry fee of $25 is required for each manuscript submission, and will be collected through Submittable.

5. Contest results will be posted on our website www.uakron.edu/uapress/poetryprizewinner by September 30. Questions may be sent to uapress@uakron.edu.

6. Intimate friends, relatives, current and former students of the final judge (students in an academic, degree-conferring program or its equivalent) and current faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the University of Akron or the Northeast Ohio MFA Program (NEOMFA) are not eligible to enter the Akron Poetry Prize competition.

2016 Final Judge

Allison Joseph lives in Carbondale, Illinois, where she co-directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University. She serves as poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review. Her books include What Keeps Us Here (winner of the Ampersand Press Women Poets Series Prize and the John C. Zacharis Prize), Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon), In Every Seam (Pittsburgh), Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon), Worldly Pleasures (winner of the Word Press Poetry Prize) and Voice: Poems (Mayapple Press). Her most recent full-length poetry collection, My Father's Kites, was published in 2010 by Steel Toe Books. Recent published chapbooks include Trace Particles (Backbone Press) and Little Epiphanies (Imaginary Friend Press).