University of Southern Indiana

Michael Waters Poetry Prize

The Michael Waters Poetry Prize was established in 2013 to honor Michael’s contributions to Southern Indiana Review and American arts and letters.


A prize of $3,000 and publication by SIR Press is awarded annually for a collection of poetry written in English. All entries are considered for publication. Submit up to 80 pages (no more than one poem per page). The next deadline is February 1, 2018.

Contest mailing address:

Southern Indiana Review
Michael Waters Poetry Prize
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, IN  47712


2016 MWPP Winner

Ruth Awad Author Photo FBRuth Awad has an MFA in poetry from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and is the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, The Missouri Review, The Adroit Journal, Sixth Finch, Diode, Rattle, Vinyl Poetry, Drunken Boat, CALYX, and in the anthologies The Hundred Years' War: Modern War Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2014), New Poetry from the Midwest 2014 (New American Press, 2015), and Poets on Growth (Math Paper Press, 2015). She won the 2012 and 2013 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and the 2011 Copper Nickel Poetry Contest, and she was a finalist for the 2013 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Awad's Prize-winning collection, Set to Music a Wildfire, will be published fall 2017.


Previous MWPP Winners

2015: Annie Kim 

2014: Dennis Hinrichsen & Hannah Faith Notess

2013: Doug Ramspeck


About Michael Waters

Michael WatersMichael Waters has written eleven books of poetry, including Celestial Joyride (BOA Editions, 2016); Gospel Night (BOA, 2011); Darling Vulgarity, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (BOA, 2006); and Parthenopi: New and Selected Poems, finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize (BOA, 2001). His poems have appeared in various journals, including The Yale Review, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, The Georgia Review, and RollingStone. Among his awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fulbright Foundation and fellowship residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, The Tyrone Guthrie Center (Ireland), Le Chateau de Lavigny (Switzerland), and The St. James Centre for Creativity (Malta). He is professor of English at Monmouth University and also teaches in the Drew University MFA Program in Poetry and Poetry in Translation. Waters lives with his wife, poet Mihaela Moscaliuc, in Ocean, New Jersey.

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