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Michael Waters Poetry Prize

A prize of $6,000 and publication by SIR Press is awarded annually for a collection of poetry written in English. All entries are considered for publication.

Next deadline: February 1, 2024.

Fady Joudah will judge.

Click here for complete guidelines.

Click here to upload your MWPP 2024 entry.

Thanks to a donation from the Mary C. Mohr family, this year's prize is increased to $6000 (and currently-enrolled grad students receive a 50% entry fee discount).

Fady Joudah has published five collections of poems: The Earth in the Attic; Alight; Textu, a book-long sequence of short poems whose meter is based on cellphone character count; Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance; and, most recently, Tethered to Stars. He has translated several collections of poetry from the Arabic and is the co-editor and co-founder of the Etel Adnan Poetry Prize. He was a winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 2007 and has received the Arab American Book Award, a PEN award, a Banipal/Times Literary Supplement prize from the UK, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Joudah lives in Houston, where he practices internal medicine.

Michael Waters selected Natalie Louise Tombasco’s Milk for Gall for the 2023 Prize. 

Click here for complete 2023 MWPP results.

Contest mailing address (for inquiries and print entries):
          Southern Indiana Review
          Michael Waters Poetry Prize
          University of Southern Indiana
          8600 University Boulevard
          Evansville, IN  47712

2023 MWPP Winner

Natalie Louise Tombasco is a poet from Staten Island, New York. Currently, she is a PhD  candidate at Florida State University and serves as editor-in-chief of the Southeast Review. Recent work can be found in Best New Poets, Verse Daily, Gulf Coast, Black Warrior Review, Diode Poetry Journal, Copper  Nickel, and The Cincinnati Review. Tombasco received an MFA from Butler University in Indianapolis. 

Previous MWPP Winners

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.

Michael Waters has written fourteen books of poetry, most recently Sinnerman (Etruscan Press, 2023), CawThe Dean of Discipline, and Celestial Joyride. He has co-edited several anthologies, including Border Lines: Poems of Migration, Reel Verse: Poems About the Movies, Contemporary American Poetry, and Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing from Homer to Ali. His poems have appeared in POETRY, The American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, Kenyon Review, and Rolling Stone. He is the recipient of five Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Fulbright Foundation, and New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Waters lives without a cell phone in Ocean, New Jersey.