Poems that vivify.
About the Series
Every year, the University of Arkansas Press accepts submissions for the Miller Williams Poetry Series and from the books selected awards the $5,000 Miller Williams Poetry Prize in the following summer. For almost a quarter century the press has made this series the cornerstone of its work as a publisher of some of the country’s best new poetry. The series and prize are named for and operated to honor the cofounder and longtime director of the press, Miller Williams.
“I love poems that vivify and disturb,” says series editor Patrica Smith. “No matter what genre we write in, we’re all essentially storytellers — but it’s poets who toil most industriously, telling huge unwieldy stories within tight and gorgeously controlled confines, stories that are structurally and sonically adventurous, and it’s magic every time it happens. Simply put, when I read a poetry book, I want something to shift in my chest. I want my world to change.”
About the Prize
Series editor Patricia Smith serves as the judge for the Miller Williams Poetry Prize. With the help of screeners, she awards to three authors publication in the series. This is the most significant award the press can offer: the opportunity for the author’s work to be published with all the dedication and expertise we have to offer. We provide professional copyediting by expert poetry editors, design and production by veteran designers who specialize in the typesetting of verse, and production managed by a house with a history of printing first-rate books. We believe this offers the poet the best possible opportunity to connect with his or her audience in print. This prize goes to all three books selected for the series. Three of the books are announced as finalists for the Miller Williams Poetry Prize. One is further chosen as the winner of the prize and receives $5,000 in cash in addition to publication.
Submissions for the 2022 Miller Williams Poetry Prize are accepted until 30 Sep 2020.
Length. Manuscripts must be between sixty and ninety pages.
Previous publication. The manuscript must be previously unpublished. Individual poems may have been published in chapbooks, journals, and anthologies.
Translations. Work in translation is not accepted.
Associations with the editor. Friends, family, current students, and former students of the editor should refrain from submitting.
Multiple submissions. No more than one manuscript per author.
Authorship. No more than one author per manuscript.
Simultaneous submissions. Manuscripts under publication consideration or prize competition elsewhere are allowed provided we are notified immediately of their acceptance.
Authors previously published in the series. Any author who has had a manuscript published in the series should not apply again until three years after the publication date of said volume.
Period. Applications are accepted year-round with a rolling deadline of 30 September.
Personal information. Applicants should provide their name, an address, a telephone number, and an email address.
Manuscript content. The first page of the manuscript should start with the title of the collection, followed by a table of contents, and then the poems. Part titles and epigraphs may be included. Dedications, acknowledgments, or any personal information should not be included.
Anonymity. Submissions are judged anonymously. Your name and contact info should be submitted on this submission page but nowhere in the uploaded file. Do not include any specific identifying information anywhere in the manuscript.
File formats. We recommend authors submit their manuscripts as a PDF, which offers the most reliable representation of what is seen on the writer’s computer. Microsoft Word documents (.doc) and Rich-Text Format documents (.rtf) are also acceptable but may display text and formatting differently when opened on the judge’s computer.
Revisions. No revisions will be accepted once the application is complete and the manuscript is uploaded.
Readers fee. A readers’ fee of $28 must be paid at the time of submission. Major credit cards and PayPal are accepted. No checks, transfers, or cash can be accepted.
Selection. The winner and the finalists, whose work will be published in the year of the prize, will be notified by 15 July 2021.
|I Was Waiting to See What You Would Do First||Angie Mazakis||2020||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Series|
|Roze and Blud||Jayson Iwen||2020||Winner||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Spring and a Thousand Years (Unabridged)||Judy Halebsky||2020||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Unmanly Grief||Jess Williard||2019||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Series|
|A Short History of Monsters||Jose Padua||2019||Winner||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Ya Te Veo||P. Scott Cunningham||2018||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Walking with Eve in the Loved City||Roy Bentley||2018||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Narcissus Americana||Travis Mossotti||2018||Winner||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Mr. Stevens' Secretary||Frances Schenkkan||2017||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Protection Spell||Jennifer Givhan||2017||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|The Wild Night Dress||Laura McCullough||2017||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Self-Portrait in a Door-Length Mirror||Stephen Gibson||2017||Winner||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|[explicit lyrics]||Andrew Gent||2016||Winner||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Cenotaph||Brock Jones||2016||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|When We Were Birds||Joe Wilkins||2016||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|See You Soon||Laura McKee||2016||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Reveille||George David Clark||2015||Winner||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Ghost Gear||Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum||2014||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Day of the Border Guards||Katherine E. Young||2014||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|To the Bramble and the Briar||Steve Scafidi||2014||Cowinner||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Afternoon Masala||Vandana Khanna||2014||Cowinner||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Chord Box||Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers||2013||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|The Law of Falling Bodies||Elton Glaser||2013||Winner||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Praise Nothing||Joshua Robbins||2013||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|The Coal Life||Adam Vines||2012||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|In Broken Latin||Annette Spaulding-Convy||2012||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Rousing the Machinery||Catherine MacDonald||2012||Winner||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|The Empty Loom||Robert Gibb||2012||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Lovely Asunder||Danielle Cadena Deulen||2011||Winner||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Paradise||Stephen Gibson||2011||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Harm's Way||Eric Leigh||2010||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|The Dirt Riddles||Michael Walsh||2010||Winner||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Another Creature||Pamela Gemin||2010||Finalist||Miller Williams Poetry Prize|
|Start with the Trouble||Daniel Donaghy||2009||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|A Sunday in God-Years||Michelle Boisseau||2009||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|Weapons Grade||Terese Svoboda||2009||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|Rift||Barbara Helfgott Hyett||2008||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|A Necklace of Bees||Dannye Romine Powell||2008||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|The Fire Landscape||Gary Fincke||2008||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|Now You're the Enemy||James Allen Hall||2008||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|My Father Says Grace||Donald Platt||2007||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|Figured Dark||Greg Rappleye||2007||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|Outlaw Style||R.T. Smith||2007||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|World over Water||Robert Gibb||2007||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|Waking Stone||Carole Simmons Oles||2006||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|The First Inhabitants of Arcadia||Christopher Bursk||2006||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|Fire Baton||Elizabeth Hadaway||2006||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|Walking Through the Horizon||Margaret Holley||2006||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|Becoming Bone||Annie Boutelle||2005||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|Here and Hereafter||Elton Glaser||2005||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|Standing around the Heart||Gary Fincke||2005||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|King Vulture||K. E. Duffin||2005||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|Candlefish||Elizabeth Biller Chapman||2004||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|August Evening with Trumpet||Harry Humes||2004||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|Chattahoochee||Patrick Phillips||2004||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|The Burning World||Robert Gibb||2004||Cowinner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|Trembling Air||Michelle Boisseau||2003||Winner||Arkansas Poetry Prize|
|News from Where I Live||Martin Lammon||1998||Winner||Arkansas Poetry Award|
|The Listening Chamber||William Aberg||1997||Winner||Arkansas Poetry Award|
|Anne & Alpheus, 1842-1882||Joe Survant||1996||Winner||Arkansas Poetry Award|
|The Man on the Tower||Charles Rafferty||1995||Winner||Arkansas Poetry Award|
|At Every Wedding Someone Stays Home||Dannye Romine Powell||1994||Winner||Arkansas Poetry Award|
|Conservator's Song||William C. Bowie||1993||Winner||Arkansas Poetry Award|
|The Angel of Obsession||Julie Suk||1992||Winner||Arkansas Poetry Award|
|The Interpretation of Waking Life||Eric Nelson||1991||Winner||Arkansas Poetry Award|
Patricia Smith has been called “a testament to the power of words to change lives.” She is the author of seven books of poetry, including Incendiary Art (2017), winner of an NAACP Image Award and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (2012), which won the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler (2008), a chronicle of the human and environmental cost of Hurricane Katrina which was nominated for a National Book Award; and Teahouse of the Almighty, a 2005 National Poetry Series selection published by Coffee House Press. Smith collaborated with the photographer Michael Abramson on the book Gotta Go Gotta Flow: Life, Love, and Lust on Chicago’s South Side From the Seventies (2015). Her work has appeared in Poetry magazine, the Paris Review, the New York Times, TriQuarterly, Tin House, the Washington Post, and in both Best American Poetry and Best American Essays.
She is a 2014 Guggenheim fellow, a 2012 fellow at both MacDowell and Yaddo, a two-time Pushcart Prize winner, recipient of a Lannan fellowship and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition’s history. She is currently working on a biography of Harriet Tubman, a poetry volume combining text and 19th century African-American photos, and a collaborative novel with her husband Bruce DeSilva, the Edgar-Award winning author of the Liam Mulligan crime novels.
(Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths.)
Once described to his pleasure as “the Hank Williams of American poetry,” Miller Williams was born in Arkansas’s Lawrence County in 1930. He attended Hendrix College, Arkansas State University, and the University of Arkansas, where he earned a master’s degree in biology. In the meantime, he published his first book of poems, Et Cetera (1952). In 1962, with the help of Flannery O’Connor, he got a job in the English Department at Louisiana State University and founded The New Orleans Review at Loyola University eight years later.
In 1970 he returned to the University of Arkansas to take a position in the Department of English where he was a key figure in the development of the Programs in Creative Writing and Translation, which grew to become one of the most respected MFA programs in the county. Ten years later he cofounded the University of Arkansas Press where he would go on to publish the works of writers such as Frank Stanford, John Williams, Ellen Gilchrist, Robert Mezey, R. S. Thomas, Leon Stokesbury, Billy Collins, Jimmy Carter, and John Ciardi.
Over the course of a teaching and publishing career that lasted four decades, Williams published over a dozen of his own books of poetry and literary theory. Already an extensively accomplished writer, he came to large national acclaim when in 1997 he read his poem “Of History and Hope” at Bill Clinton’s second inauguration.
I Was Waiting to See What You Would Do First
Spring and a Thousand Years (Unabridged)
Roze & Blud
A Short History of Monsters
Ya Te Veo$17.95
Walking with Eve in the Loved City$17.95
Mr. Stevens’ Secretary$17.95
The Wild Night Dress$17.95
Self-Portrait in a Door-Length Mirror$17.95
When We Were Birds$17.95
See You Soon$17.95
The Dirt Riddles$16.00
Rousing the Machinery$16.00
The Empty Loom$16.00
In Broken Latin$16.00
The Law of Falling Bodies$16.00
The Coal Life$16.00
Day of the Border Guards$16.95
To the Bramble and the Briar$16.95