The Robert Siegel Prize

submitted by


Call For Submissions


Porlock’s first issue showed that poetry journals can readily find multiple guest editors who aren’t poets. An extension of that issue, the Robert Siegel Prize combines elements of The Best American Poems, The Pushcart Prize and The Forward Prizes but isn’t confined to the US or to the UK and Ireland. Print and online magazines are invited to submit up to five poems published in 2023. Submissions will be initially divided among eight poets. Each could choose as many as six poems; 48 or fewer would be sent on to 15 lay judges who’d each select no more than five poems.
Judges and initial readers could choose no poems at all and would recuse themselves if they know a poet personally or are directly connected to a submitting journal. A poem that couldn’t be initially appraised by one reader will be passed on to another. Judge recusals will be noted.
The submission period will run from the beginning of January to the end of February 2024. Initial readers will choose poems over the next 30 days and judges will make their selections by May 1st. The prize wing added to the Porlock site has links to the websites of readers and judges and will have links to the texts of selected poems. Poems will be ranked by how frequently they’re chosen.
The initial readers include editors of The Best American Poetry, swamp pink and Poetry Northwest. The lay judges include historians, critics, a science writer, philosophers, a filmmaker, a religion scholar, fiction writers, a literary theorist and a political candidate.
Robert Siegel was a poet, novelist and teacher. Everyone contributing to this project is unpaid. We’ve shown that the value of poetry can be independently confirmed. Journals and prizes utilizing the expertise of poets and the disinterested judgment of representative readers could change how contemporary poetry’s regarded and expand its audience. Something similar might be done for other arts.
Stan Jacoby

Submission Period
January 1, 2024 - February 29, 2024

Poetry Online Magazine