Rattle Poetry Prize
Deadline: July 15, 2021 (11:59pm Pacific Time for online entries)
The annual Rattle Poetry Prize celebrates its 16th year with a 1st prize of $15,000 for a single poem. Ten finalists will also receive $500 each and publication, and be eligible for the $5,000 Readers' Choice Award, to be selected by subscriber and entrant vote. All of these poems will be published in the winter issue of the magazine.
With the winners judged in a masked review by the editors to ensure a fair and consistent selection, an entry fee that is simply a one-year subscription to the magazine—and a runner-up Readers' Choice Award to be chosen by the writers themselves—the Rattle Poetry Prize aims to be one of the most writer-friendly and popular poetry contests around.
We accept entries online and by mail. See Rattle's website for the complete guidelines and to read all of the past winners.
Please enjoy this past Rattle Poetry Prize Winner by Roberto Ascalon, published in Rattle #42, Winter 2013:
THE FIRE THIS TIME,
or How Come Some Brown
Boys Get Blazed Right
Before Class and Other
Questions Without Markshow much damn brokedoes it take to want toburn just before classlung green with chaoshow many times thepolice come to the doorway past late, your auntieface forlorn and flashingin the turning blue, howmuch knuckle in a boyfist gotta break cheek tillbody want to go numbhow much brave yougotta front, pay forwardlike a hard stare, like awork muscle jawhow many legal paperssay stay or go, right ornothing, home or jaillove or palm skinhow many wordsor promises did dadmom and god knowswho else have to crushso that you spit outyour eyes and slouchlike a demon, daringme to call out yourname, as if it hadpower anyway, as ifyour own name, whenyou strangle it outyour throat spill godstuff, god, like a brokeegg, baby born intofire, how come fireput you to bed insteadof sweet hands, goodhands, why they put badhands, why bad handswhy the fire this timegod, why, we ain’t donenothing, nothing yetnothing yet and nothingwrong, except the babiesare on fire, on fire, babiesburning by the stairsbefore school begins