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.
As If a Song Could Save You
“Attuned as she is to harmony—musical, spiritual, earthly—Sholl weaves seemingly miscellaneous notes into vibrant wholes. She references Dante more than once and it’s apt, for she is very much a pilgrim, someone who conveys the feeling of being in it—the tangle that is a moment, a street scene, a biblical incident—and that is a key to her achievement, her openness to the ways of being. Great compassion marks these poems, that inestimable talent for tracing the ways of kinship, how one occasion graces another.
American Sex Tape
“Every now and then, but rarely, a book of poems comes along that is biblical in its authority and iconoclastic in its capacity to rearrange or explode the furniture, the nation, and the self. American Sex Tape™ is one of those.
Shopping, or The End of Time
“Marrying novelistic breadth and autobiographical intimacy, Shopping, or The End of Time invents a new poetic genre: the sociolyric. Impersonal and personal at once, these poems shift from collective to individual experience with dizzying rapidity. Their deft lines jump-cut across social experiences connected inequitably by a consumer culture thriving on violence against women and the Earth’s accelerating destruction. This is an innovative collection with impressive critical and emotional range.
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Poems, Rwanda, 1991–1994