The Sam Ella Dukes Memorial Poetry Prize

This prize honors the memory of Sam Ella Dukes, who taught English in the public schools of Florida and South Carolina for over forty years. The prize will be awarded each April by a committee of English department faculty appointed by the chair of the department.


Graduate Students: 1st prize of $200, 2nd prize of $150

Undergraduate Students: 1st prize of $100 and 2nd prize of $75.

Who can enter:

All UA undergraduate and graduate students

Submission Guidelines:

  • Enter up to three poems consisting of no more than six pages total
  • Subject matter is open to the poet
  • On a separate page, include the poet's name, level (grad or undergrad), postal address, email address, and phone number
  • The poems themselves should appear without any identifying information; in other words, the poet’s name and address should NOT appear on the same pages as the poems.
  • No manuscripts will be returned. The winners will be announced by the Department of English.

Submit work to:

The Sam Ella Dukes Memorial Poetry Prize, c/o Dr. Mary Biddinger, Department of English, The University of Akron, 44325-1906. Submissions may also be dropped off in Dr. Biddinger’s mailbox in the English Department. Questions may be directed to