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 $5,000 and publication by SIR Press is awarded annually for a collection of poetry written in English. All entries are considered for publication. Michael Waters is the final judge. Entrants receive a one-year subscription to Southern Indiana Review.

Thanks to a grant from the Mary C. Mohr family, one hundred 2022 MWPP entry uploads are available to current graduate students at a 50% discount ($12.50). See Submittable upload link below for more information.

Click here for complete MWPP 2022 guidelines.

Click here to upload your MWPP 2022 entry.

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

2021 MWPP Winner

Bethany Schultz Hurst is the author of Miss Lost Nation, winner of the Anhinga Poetry Prize and finalist for the 2016 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2015 and in journals such as Ecotone, Gulf Coast, Narrative, New Ohio Review, and Ploughshares. A recipient of a literary arts fellowship from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, Hurst is an associate professor in creative writing at Idaho State University.

Previous MWPP Winners

2020: Erin Rodoni

2019: Julia Koets

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 Waters has written thirteen books of poetry, most recently Caw (BOA Editions, 2020); The Dean of Discipline (U 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 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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