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 $4,000 and publication by SIR Press is awarded annually for a collection of poetry written in English. All entries are considered for publication. Michael Waters will judge. Submit up to 80 pages (no more than one poem per page) with a $35 entry fee by February 3, 2020. 

Click here for complete guidelines.

Click here to upload your entry.


Contest mailing address:

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


2019 MWPP Winner

Julia Koets is the winner of the 2017 Red Hen Press Nonfiction Book Award judged by Mark Doty for her forthcoming book The Rib Joint: A Memoir-in-Essays. Her poetry collection, Hold Like Owls (University of South Carolina Press), won the 2011 South Carolina Poetry Book Prize, judged by National Book Award Winner Nikky Finney. Julia’s nonfiction essays and poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Creative Nonfiction, Indiana Review, The Los Angeles Review, and Portland Review. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of South Carolina and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Cincinnati. Starting in fall 2019, Julia will be a visiting assistant professor of creative nonfiction at the University of South Florida.


Previous MWPP Winners

2018: Chelsea Wagenaar

2017: Marty McConnell

2016: Ruth Awad

2015: Annie Kim 

2014: Dennis Hinrichsen & Hannah Faith Notess

2013: Doug Ramspeck


About Michael Waters

Michael WatersMichael Waters has written twelve books of poetry, including The Dean of Discipline (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018); 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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