Wisconsin Poetry Series
This series includes:
The Brittingham Prize in Poetry
The Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry
The Four Lakes Prize in Poetry
Currently, the University of Wisconsin Press seeks to publish a minimum of seven poetry titles each year as part of the Wisconsin Poetry Series. Works are chosen for publication following an open reading period (submissions are accepted between July 15 and September 15) for the poetry prizes awarded by the Press.
The Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry, along with the Wisconsin Prize for Poetry in Translation, are awarded annually. They are selected by a guest judge following an initial screening process conducted by coeditors Sean Bishop and Jesse Lee Kercheval in conjunction with the Creative Writing Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The winner of each prize receives $1,000 and the publication of their work by the University of Wisconsin Press.
The Brittingham Prize in Poetry was founded in 1985 with the help of grants from the Brittingham Trust. Administered by the UW Foundation, the trust was established in 1924 by the wills of lumber baron Thomas Evans Brittingham Sr. and his wife, activist Mary Clark Brittingham, to benefit the University.
The Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry was founded in 1994 with the help of a bequest from Sara Pollak. The prize honors her husband, Felix, a major Wisconsin poet and former curator of the Rare Book Room and Little Magazine Collection in the UW–Madison Libraries.
The Four Lakes Prize in Poetry may be awarded annually to a collection of poetry submitted by a previous winner of either the Brittingham or Felix Pollak prizes. Recipients are selected by the coeditors of the Wisconsin Poetry Series with input from screeners and faculty in the Creative Writing Program at UW–Madison.
The Wisconsin Prize for Poetry in Translation was founded in 2022 to cater to the readers, poets, and editors who want to read poetry written across the world. It aims to be one small part of breaking down the language barriers that divide us and help make work written in other languages visible to a wider public.
Priority for publication apart from the prizes is given to titles selected as honorable mention by that year’s judge or otherwise deemed to be exceptional by the series coeditors and screening committee.
For poetry submission guidelines, click here.
“In the breathtaking ‘escape room’ of Celeste Lipkes’s Radium Girl, our ardent guide dons, by turns, the snow-flaked robe of patient, the white coat of physician, the lustrous cape of magician. The word ‘magic’ is rooted in the PIE ‘magh’—‘to be able, to have power’— and in this radiant debut, body and mystery exchange their secrets about what can and cannot be controlled—in illness, in love, and in the salvific art of poetry itself.
“No poet I’ve worked with in forty years’ teaching has wowed me more with his talent & smarts & heart than young Joshua Burton. His first collection, Grace Engine, is destined to be this year’s star debut.
“Midwhistle proves Dante Di Stefano ‘a child / of cello, air, & mint spears.’ In this refulgent homage, Di Stefano honors ‘what loves / have been thrummed forth & nurtured / into shining’ by poet William Heyen’s august work and person. Surely any reader will leave this book, as I did, more alert and alive, more ‘in love / with the gray undersides of / mulberry leaves & the way / the grass ekes toward twilight.'
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Poems, Rwanda, 1991–1994