The Leonard L. Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Prize recognizes outstanding work by student writers in the 11th grade in the U.S. or abroad. Contest judges are poets on the Princeton University Creative Writing faculty, which includes Michael Dickman, Paul Muldoon, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, James Richardson, Tracy K. Smith, Susan Wheeler, Jenny Xie, and Monica Youn.
Submissions for the 2019-20 contest are now closed. The next contest will open in fall 2020. Winners will be announced on this page in spring 2020.
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Prizes: First Prize – $500, Second Prize – $250, Third Prize – $100
A note for high school teachers:
Thank you for your interest in the Leonard L. Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Prize. While we encourage the inclusion of poetry in the high school English curriculum, we ask you to please refrain from using the contest as an occasion to require all your students to submit a poem as a homework assignment. If you read the poems from the past student winners, you’ll see that they all carry a sense of urgency and necessity that is difficult to conjure when a student is obliged to submit a poem. Ideally, we hope motivated students will choose to enter the contest, and that they’ll come to see the writing and sharing of their poems as a joy rather than an obligation.
We’d also like to recommend the following poetry anthologies: