Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry

Submissions Period: January 2–February 15, 2017
2017 Judge: Srikanth Reddy

The Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry is an annual regional prize, presented in partnership by Milkweed Editions and the Lindquist & Vennum Foundation. Established in 2011 with the aim of supporting outstanding poets from the upper Midwest and bringing their work to a national stage, the prize awards $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions. The winner is selected from a small number of finalists by an independent judge. View previous winners»


  • Submittors must currently reside in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, or Wisconsin.
  • The submitted manuscript must be unpublished, though individual poems may have been previously published.
  • Poets should refrain from entering the contest if their relationship to the judge in a given year constitutes a conflict of interest. Milkweed Editions reserves the right to disqualify any entries deemed to jeopardize the integrity of the contest. Similarly, poets published by Milkweed Editions within the preceeding two years are not eligible to enter, and the submitted manuscript cannot be currently under consideration for publication by Milkweed Editions. Submissions will not be accepted from employees of Lindquist & Vennum, The Minneapolis Foundation, Milkweed Editions, or their families or relations.


  • Entries should be submitted via Submittable.
  • MANUSCRIPT: Poets may submit one complete, book-length collection of poetry. No identifying information may appear on the pages of the manuscript. If the author's name appears within the body of the text, please omit it, black it out, or use a pseudonym (this may be changed if the manuscript is selected for publication). Please include a title page (with the author's name omitted) and table of contents. Pages must be numbered.
  • POET INFORMATION: You will be asked to provide the following information when submitting. Please DO NOT include this information within your manuscript's file. 
    • Poet's name, address, email, phone number, and a short biographical statement.
    • Manuscript's title, page count, and a list of any poems within that have been previously published, and where they have been published.
  • Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but poets must notify Milkweed Editions by withdrawing their manuscript via Submittable if it is accepted elsewhere.
  • Incomplete submissions cannot be guaranteed consideration for the prize.
  • There is no entry fee.


Finalists & Winner Announcements

Finalists will be notified and announced before April 1 and will be invited to read at Milkweed's annual National Poetry Month public reading on Thursday, April 13 at Open Book in Minneapolis, MN. The winner will be notified and announced before May 1. The winning collection will be published in the fall of 2017, and a public book launch and celebration will be held in November in Minneapolis.

2017 Judge: Srikanth Reddy

SRIKANTH REDDY is the author of two books of poetry, Facts for Visitors (2004) and Voyager (2011), both published by the University of California Press. A scholar as well, his critical study Changing Subjects: Digressions in Modern American Poetry was published by Oxford University Press in 2012. He has received fellowships and awards from the Asian American Writer’s Workshop, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Whiting Foundation, and the Creative Capital Foundation, among others. A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and the doctoral program in English at Harvard University, Reddy is currently an Associate Professor of English at the University of Chicago.

MILKWEED EDITIONS is one of the nation's leading independent publishers, with a mission to identify, nurture and publish transformative literature, and build an engaged community around it. The LINDQUIST & VENNUM FOUNDATION was established by the Minneapolis-headquartered law firm of Lindquist & Vennum LLP and is a donor-advised fund of The Minneapolis Foundation.


Previous winners
Chris Santiago

Tula: a ruined Toltec capital; a Russian city known for its accordions; Tagalog for “poem.” Inspired by the experiences of the second-generation immigrant who does not fully acquire the language of his parents, the winner of the 2016...

Beautiful Zero
Jennifer Willoughby

Incantatory, intimate, and incendiary, the winner of the 2015 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry is filled with explosive wit and humor. Yet even at their most surreal—whether taking as their subject a Kaiser Permanente hospital, Shark Week...

You Must Remember This
Michael Bazzett

A woozy logic dominates these poems: a heart can become a buzzing hive of bees, a rooster can trigger a series of bombs, a young man can embrace a city bus as his spirit animal. The winner of the 2014 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry is a...

Glass Armonica
Rebecca Dunham

The winner of the 2013 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry probes the depths of the human psyche. These are poems spoken through and for the melancholic, the hysteric, the body dysmorphic—from Mary Glover to Lavinia Dickinson to Freud’s famed...

Patricia Kirkpatrick

A grim prognosis, brain cancer, leaves the speaker in this collection fighting for her life. The winner of the 2012 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry creates from loss a dreamlike reality: Odessa, “roof of the underworld,” a refuge at once...