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National Poetry Series

Found in Poetry
Established in 1978, the National Poetry Series is a literary awards program which sponsors the publication of five books of poetry each year. The manuscripts, solicited through an annual Open Competition, are selected by poets of national stature and published by a distinguished group of trade, university, and small presses.
Scriptorium by Melissa Range
Anarcha Speaks by Dominique Christina
It's Not Magic by Jonathan Sands

National Poetry Series : Titles in Order

Book 4
Snapshots of youth, displayed with verve and sparkling clarity, in a new collection of poems that “dazzles with its linguistic sleight of hand” (Richard Blanco).

From jaunts through New York subways, to a Cincinnati Waffle House, to a chance encounter with one’s future life partner, Sands writes in turns autobiographically and imaginatively, drawing on voices from his private world and the public sphere to create an urgent portrait of youth that is almost rebellious in its sheer, persistent joy. Nostalgic and vivid, this collection of poems is written reverie. Selected by Richard Blanco, Jon Sands is the winner of the 2018 National Poetry Series.
Book 3
The reimagined story of Anarcha, an enslaved Black woman, subjected to medical experiments by Dr. Marion Sims. Selected by Tyehimba Jess as a National Poetry Series winner.

In this provocative collection by award-winning poet and artist Dominique Christina, the historical life of Anarcha is personally reenvisioned. Anarcha was an enslaved Black woman who endured experimentation and torture at the hands of Dr. Marion Sims, more commonly known as the father of modern gynecology. Christina enables Anarcha to tell her story without being relegated to the margins of history, as a footnote to Dr. Sims’s life. These poems are a reckoning, a resurrection, and a proper way to remember Anarcha . . . and grieve her.
Book 2
Searing verses set on the Mexican border about war and addiction, love and sexual violence, grief and loss, from an American Book Award–winning author.  Selected by Gregory Pardlo as winner of the National Poetry Series.
 
El Paso is one of the safest cities in the United States, while across the river, Ciudad Juárez suffers a history of femicides and a horrific drug war. Witnessing this, a Filipina’s life unravels as she tries to love an addict, the murders growing just a city—but the breadth of a country—away. This collection weaves the personal with recent history, the domestic with the tragic, asking how much “a body will hold,” reaching from the border to the poet’s own Philippines. These poems thirst in the desert, want for water, searching the brutal and tender territories between bodies, families, and nations.
Book 1
A collection of poems exploring questions of religious and linguistic authority, from medieval England to contemporary Appalachia

A National Poetry Series winner, selected and with a foreword by Tracy K. Smith

The poems in Scriptorium are primarily concerned with questions of religious authority. The medieval scriptorium, the central image of the collection, stands for that authority but also for its subversion; it is both a place where religious ideas are codified in writing and a place where an individual scribe might, with a sly movement of the pen, express unorthodox religious thoughts and experiences. In addition to exploring the ways language is used, or abused, to claim religious authority, Scriptorium also addresses the authority of the vernacular in various time periods and places, particularly in the Appalachian slang of the author’s East Tennessee upbringing. Throughout Scriptorium, the historical mingles with the personal: poems about medieval art, theology, and verse share space with poems that chronicle personal struggles with faith and doubt.

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