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Roethke Poetry Prize

The Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize has been offered since 1968 on a triennial basis. The Prize is given for a book published in the previous three years that has made an important contribution to American poetry. The recipient must be a living American poet. The prize is awarded without regard to number of publications, age, gender, place of residence, style or type of poetry, or choice of subject matter; this award is not for total achievement, but for an individual book.

Three active and respected U.S. poets are named as judges, usually chosen by the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. No nominations are solicited or accepted.

From 1968–2009, this triennial prize was awarded in the amount of $3,000. In 2011, the SVSU agreed to fund the prize and elevated the award to $10,000.

To learn more about Roethke’s work, the history of this prize, and to read past winners’ bios and excerpts of their poetry, please contact the Center for Community Writing by email at or by phone at (989) 964-2829 for a copy of Beyond the Far Field: A Celebration of Theodore Roethke & 50 Years of the Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize.