The Barry Spacks Poetry Prize is awarded annually for an unpublished book-length manuscript of 48-100 pages. The Spacks Prize honors the first poet laureate of Santa Barbara and his legacy of clear yet challenging work. Submissions are accepted annually between January 1 and April 30.
- The 2020 Spacks Prize was awarded to Meghan Dunn for her manuscript Curriculum (forthcoming), selected by Jessica Jacobs. Peg Quinn's manuscript Mother Lode was also selected for publication as an Editors' Choice.
- The 2019 Spacks Prize was awarded to Glenn Freeman for his manuscript Drinking with O'Hara, selected by Stephen Dunn.
- The 2018 Prize was awarded to Michelle Bonczek Evory for her book, The Ghosts of Lost Animals, selected by final judge Lee Herrick.
- The 2017 Prize was awarded to Aaron Baker for his book Posthumous Noon, selected by final judge Jane Hirshfield.
- The 2016 Prize was awarded to Kurt Olsson for his book Burning Down Disneyland, selected by final judge Thomas Lux.
- The inaugural Spacks Prize was awarded to Catherine Abbey Hodges in 2015 for her book Instead of Sadness, selected by final judge Dan Gerber.
Founded in 2013 by David Starkey and co-edited by David Starkey and Chryss Yost, Gunpowder Press is located in Santa Barbara, California.
The Barry Spacks Poetry Prize is awarded annually for an unpublished book-length manuscript of 48-100 pages. The Spacks Prize honors the first poet laureate of Santa Barbara and his legacy of clear yet challenging work. Submissions are accepted between January 1 and April 30. The prize includes $500 and publication by Gunpowder Press with 50 author copies.
Final judge for the 2021 Spacks Prize is Lynne Thompson, author of Beg No Pardon, Start With A Small Guitar, and Fretwork (selected by Jane Hirshfield for the Marsh Hawk Poetry Prize). Thompson’s recent work appears or is forthcoming in New England Review, Ninth Letter, december, Black Warrior Review, and 2020 Best American Poetry, among others. Thompson is Chair of the Board of Trustees at Scripps College and serves on the Boards of Cave Canem and the Los Angeles Review of Books.
How to Submit: Entry fee is $20. $25 includes entry and copy of the winning book ($15 cover price). Word .doc or .docx preferred. Please include a table of contents and a page which acknowledges previous publication of individual poems. Entrant's names will be removed from manuscripts presented to the final judge. We ask that close friends or students of the judge show respect for the judge by refraining from submitting work for this award. Due to our desire to respect international copyright, submissions are accepted from poets within the United States only.
About Gunpowder Press: Founded in 2013 by David Starkey and co-edited by David Starkey and Chryss Yost, Gunpowder Press is a small independent poetry press located in Santa Barbara, California.