Open to all American writers, regardless of previous publication.
Submit one copy of a complete poetry book manuscript of at least 48 pages. The manuscript must be postmarked no later than October 1, 2009.
Enclose two cover sheets with each manuscript. On one cover sheet, provide the title of the manuscript, your name, telephone number, and address. The second cover sheet should list only the title of the manuscript. Poems previously published in journals or anthologies are acceptable. If poems in the manuscript have been previously published, enclose an acknowledgments page.
Each entry should come accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. If the entry arrives with an additional large, self-addressed envelope with $1.68 postage affixed, the entrant will receive a copy of the winning book when it appears.
Include a money order or check to Pleiades Press for $20.00 with each entry. Reading fees will be used only for book production, advertising, and other costs of running the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Series. Pleiades Press and the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Series are non-profit organizations staffed by faculty members at Central Missouri State University and Winthrop University and volunteer readers.
The initial judging will be directed by:
• Susan Ludvigson, author of, among others, Escaping the House of Certainty, Everything Winged Must Be Dreaming, Trinity, and Sweet Confluence, all from LSU Press..
• Kevin Prufer, author of National Anthem (Four Way, 2008), Fallen from a Chariot (Carnegie Mellon, 2005), The Finger Bone (Carnegie Mellon, 2002) and Strange Wood (a previous winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Series) and editor of New European Poets (Graywolf, 2008) and Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing, among others.
• Joy Katz, author of Fabulae (Southern Illinois, 2002), winner of the 2001 Crab Orchard Award Series and The Garden Room, winner of the 2005 Tupelo Press chapbook competition.
• Wayne Miller, author of Only the Senses Sleep (New Issues, 2006) and The Book of Props (Milkweed, forthcoming), and editor of New European Poets (Graywolf, 2008) and Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing.
The initial judges will choose ten finalist manuscripts which will be forwarded to an internationally known judge for selection of the winning collection. The judge for 2008-2009 will be announced soon
Our policy is that no screener may previously know, have published, or have previously reviewed the poetry of any poet whose work they consider for the contest. No one who has published work in Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing within the last five years will have his/her manuscript screened by any poetry editor of the journal. Those manuscripts submitted by such contributors to the journal will, instead, be sent to screeners at another location.
We also respectfully request that former students or colleagues of the LMWT judge—as well as any poet whose relationship with the judge constitutes an unfair conflict of interest—refrain from entering the contest. All finalists will be asked to confirm that they have no conflict of interest with the judge. The LMWT staff reserves the right to disqualify entries deemed conflicts of interest and will return those entry fees.
The final judge will not be sent the names of the finalists. Only their manuscripts, without identifying information, will be forwarded.
The winning writer will receive $1000 and the winning collection will be published in 2010 in paperback by Pleiades Press and distributed by Louisiana State University Press.
Questions about the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Series can be directed to Kevin Prufer at (660) 543-8106 / LMWT Poetry Series / Department of English / University of Central Missouri / Warrensburg, MO 64093 / USA