Statement of Purpose

The National Poetry Series is a literary awards program that sponsors the publication of five books of poetry each year. The manuscripts, solicited through an annual Open Competition, are selected by poets of national stature and published by a distinguished group of trade, university, and small presses. The specific purposes for which this organization is incorporated are as follows:

  • To add in a meaningful way to the number of poetry books published each year, making possible books which might not otherwise be published by providing both financial support and assistance in the process of manuscript solicitation, selection, and promotion.
  • To support poetry and increase the audience for poetry by heightening its visibility among readers, broadening publisher involvement with its publication, and increasing booksellers’ willingness to display and promote it.
  • To give American poets, of all ethnic and racial groups, gender, religion, and poetic style, access to publishing outlets not ordinarily available to them.
  • To involve poets of national renown in the identification of emerging or less well-established poets.
  • To provide the conditions and mechanisms for a group of trade, university, and small press publishers to work together on the promotion and marketing of five poetry books each year, thus providing a structural model for collective literary publishing ventures.

Board of Directors

James Berman
Mariana Cook
Natalie Diaz
Andrew Foote
Stephen Graham
Cathy Park Hong
William Kistler
Alan Klein
Ada Limón
Imani Perry
Francine Prose
Glenn Schaeffer
Lea Hillman Simonds
Paul Slovak
Tracy K. Smith
Amy Tan
Natasha Trethewey
Lisa Trulaske


Daniel Halpern

Daniel Halpern
Founder / Director

Beth Dial

Beth Dial

MaryAnn Salem


Participating Publishers

The winning books from the National Poetry Series competition will be published by the following presses:

Past Publishers

Previous National Poetry Series collections have been published by: Arte Publico Press, Atlantic Monthly Press, Carnegie Mellon, Coffee House Press, Copper Canyon Press, Dalkey Archive Press, Doubleday, E.P. Dutton, Far Corner Books, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Fence, Graywolf Press, Green Integer, Harper & Row, Holt, University of Illinois Press, William Morrow, W. W. Norton & Co., Persea, University of Pittsburgh Press, Plume, Puffin, Random House, Rinehart & Winston, and Sun & Moon Press. Browse past winners …




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