Rattle Poetry Prize
Deadline: July 15, 2019
The annual Rattle Poetry Prize is once again offering $10,000 for a single poem to be published in the winter issue of the magazine. Ten finalists will also receive $200 each and publication, and be eligible for the $2,000 Readers' Choice Award, to be selected by subscriber and entrant vote.
With the winners judged in a blind 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 "Equilibrium" by Tiana Clark, our 2015 winner:
Took me thirty years to say I'm glad I don't pass for white. Pressed those words into the dark creases in my palm like a fortune: a life line of futures I wanted to begin. Like the way the haze of summer heat makes a drive home different. Right now even the streetlights have a misty orb to them. Even the cigarette butt flicked out of the window on the highway plumes with embers skidding toward me like the tail of a backyard bottle rocket. I wanted my hair straighter, nose thinner, skin lighter. I thought this is what my white boyfriends wanted as their hands became each European request, a Russian nesting doll I kept un-stacking until there was only illusion of beauty split open. Like the Great Gatsby cover with the disembodied head of a crying flapper over the neon-scape of city. All the green beacons we chase as thoughts of people who don't love us are left back drifting on the roads as we drive. But every muscle knows how to get home. How the smallest part of ourselves cannot be divided. The last doll is still whole in my hands. Even the car can still purr from energy after it's been turned off. What is left whispering in us, once we have stopped trying to become the other?