Cultural Weekly’s 8th annual Jack Grapes Poetry Prize is open! This year they are awarding three winners and six finalists. The three winners will receive $200 each, plus publication. The six finalists will receive $50 each, plus publication.
The contest is free to enter and will be judged by poets Bunkong Tuon, Tony Gloeggler, and Alexis Rhone Fancher.
I wondered how and why this contest came to be, so I asked Poetry Editor Alexis Rhone Fancher a few questions to find out. See my interview with Fancher and a link to their contest guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about The Jack Grapes Poetry Prize.
FANCHER: The Jack Grapes Poetry Prize is Cultural Weekly’s yearly poetry contest. It runs from the beginning of July thru August 31st. This is our 8th year of running the contest. Previous winners include such poetry luminaries as Amy Miller, Beate Sigriddaughter, Lee Rossi, and Amber Decker.
In past years, we have had one judge, who awarded a first prize, second prize and third prize winner, and six finalists, all winning cash and publication. Last year we started doing it a bit differently. We have three, diverse judges, Bunkong Tuon, Tony Gloeggler, and myself. Three winners will receive $200 each, plus publication; six finalists will receive $50 each, plus publication. The deadline to enter is August 31 (Midnight, Pacific Time) and poets can enter up to three poems. The contest is free to enter.
HOPKINSON: How/why was The Jack Grapes Poetry Prize originally started?
FANCHER: We started the Jack Grapes Poetry Prize in 2013, and named it after poet and teacher Jack Grapes, whose work, encouragement, publishing activities, and overall spirit have inspired thousands of poets. As a non-profit organization, generous donations make the Poetry Prize possible.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
FANCHER: As a weekly cultural, political and arts ‘zine, we cast a wide net. Anyone interested in current events, dance, photography, music, theatre, architecture, poetry, politics, and criticism is our target audience.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
FANCHER: We are looking for polished brilliance, poetry that makes us laugh, cry, and ponder; poems we can’t get out of our head. Send us what we don’t have. Make us sit up and take notice!
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
FANCHER: That shining jewel of a poem that from the first reading, shimmers, and with each successive reading, shines even more brightly. Surprise us! Wow us!
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
FANCHER: Diode, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, San Pedro River Review, decomP, Poetry East, KYSO Flash, Nerve Cowboy, Pirene’s Fountain, Rise Up Review, Verse Daily, Vox Populi, Great Weather for MEDIA, Tin House, Slipstream, Rattle, Scissors & Spackle, Hobart, SoFloPoJo, Hyperallergic.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send contest entries?
FANCHER: Here’s a link to “The Rules” that includes the link to submit up to 2 poems to our contest: https://www.culturalweekly.com/the-poetry-contest-is-open-2020/
This FREE TO ENTER contest is open to all poets, worldwide, writing in English.
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
FANCHER: If you’ve checked out “The Rules” and still have a question, you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
DEADLINE: August 31, 2020
ENTRY FEE: None
NOTES: No simultaneous submissions, but a decision will be made quickly.
PRIZES: “There will be 3 WINNERS and 6 FINALISTS. WINNERS will receive $200 each, plus publication. FINALISTS will receive $50 each, plus publication.”