The Barry Spacks Poetry Prize is awarded annually for an unpublished book-length manuscript of 48-100 pages.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.
Final judge for the 2019 Spacks Prize is Stephen Dunn. Dunn is the author of over a dozen books of poetry, including the National Poetry Series Prize winning Local Time (1986), Landscape at the End of the Century (1991), Loosestrife (1996), Different Hours (2000), which won the Pulitzer Prize, What Goes On: New and Selected Poems 1995-2009 (2009), Here and Now (2011), Lines of Defense (2014), and Keeper of Limits (2015). His works of prose include Riffs and Reciprocities: Prose Pairs (1998), and Walking Light: Essays and Memoirs (reissued 2001). In addition to the Pulitzer, Dunn’s honors and awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He has won the James Wright Prize and an Academy Award for Literature. He is a Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Richard Stockton College.
Founded in 2013 by David Starkey and co-edited by David Starkey and Chryss Yost, Gunpowder Press is located in Santa Barbara, California.
The prize includes $500 and publication by Gunpowder Press with 50 author copies.
Entry fee is $20. $25 includes entry and copy of the winning book ($15 cover price). Full details at gunpowderpress.com.
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.
The 2018 Prize was awarded to Michelle Bonczek Evory for her book, The Ghosts of Lost Animals, selected by final judge Lee Herrick, forthcoming in 2019. The 2017 Prize (final judge Jane Hirshfield) was awarded to Aaron Baker for his book Posthumous Noon. The 2016 Prize (final judge Thomas Lux) was awarded to Kurt Olsson for his book Burning Down Disneyland, which will be available early 2017. The inaugural Spacks Prize (final judge Dan Gerber) was awarded to Catherine Abbey Hodges in 2015 for her book Instead of Sadness, released by Gunpowder Press in December 2015.