Named for the distinguished poet who taught for many years at Ohio University and made Athens, Ohio, the subject of many of his poems, this competition invites writers to submit unpublished collections of original poems.
The competition is open to both those who have not published a book-length collection and those who have.
The general editor of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize is David Sanders.
Penumbra—Michael Shewmaker’s debut collection—explores the half-shadows of a world torn between faith and doubt. From intricate descriptions of the rooms in a dollhouse, to the stark depiction of a chapel made of bones, from pre-elegies for a ghostly father, to his compelling treatment of his obsessed, human characters (a pastor, a tattoo artist, a sleepwalker, to name only a few), these are poems that wrestle with what it means to believe in something beyond one’s own mortality.
Manuscripts must be postmarked by December 1st. Those postmarked later will be returned unread.
Manuscripts of 60 to 95 pages should be set on standard sized paper. Name, address, and phone number should appear on the title page. Acknowledgments should appear on a separate page. Individual collections must be the work of a single author. Translations are not accepted. Manuscripts should be submitted in final form; revisions or emendations to acknowledgments will not be considered during the contest. Multiple submissions to other publishers are acceptable provided we are informed if the manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
There is a $30 fee per entry to help defray administrative costs. For mailed submissions, please make checks payable to Ohio University Press.
The final judge for the competition will be named when the winner is announced in April. Individual criticism of manuscripts cannot be given.
The winning manuscript will be published by Ohio University Press the following year and will be awarded a cash prize of $1000.
Manuscripts must be postmarked or uploaded to submittable.com by December 1. Those postmarked later will be returned unread.
Snail mail submissions should be sent to:Ohio University Press
Online entries can be submitted at