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.


Contest mailing address:

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.


2020 MWPP Winner

Erin Rodoni is the author of two poetry collections: Body, in Good Light (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2017) and A Landscape for Loss (NFSPS Press, 2017, winner of the Stevens Award). Her poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, Blackbird, Colorado Review, Best New Poets, and The Adroit Journal, among others. Her honors include The Montreal International Poetry Prize, a Ninth Letter Literary Award, and an AWP Intro Journals Award. She teaches at the Writing Salon in San Francisco, and lives with her husband and two young daughters in San Rafael, CA.


Previous MWPP Winners

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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