header login

PEN/Voelcker Award ($5,000)

The PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, established by a bequest from Hunce Voelcker, this award is given to a poet whose distinguished and growing body of work to date represents a notable and accomplished presence in American literature. The poet honored by the award is one for whom the exceptional promise seen in earlier work has been fulfilled, and who continues to mature with each successive volume of poetry. The award is given in even-numbered years and carries a stipend of $5,000.

Past Winners: Jane Kenyon, Franz Wright, C.K. Williams, Heather McHugh, Frederick Seidel, Robert Pinsky, Linda Gregg, Kimiko Hahn, Marilyn Hacker, Toi Derricotte, and Frank Bidart.

Eligibility and Submissions for the 2016 Awards

The submission period for the PEN/Voelcker Award closed on September 28. This award will be offered again for the 2018 PEN Awards cycle, for which submissions will open in mid-2017.

Who is eligible
There are no restrictions as to the age of the poet or to the style of his or her work. The award is judged by a panel of three to five poets or other writers whose tastes and knowledge of contemporary American poetry are wide-ranging and thorough. 

How to apply
Please note that submissions will only be accepted from Professional Members of PEN and that it is understood that all nominations made for the PEN/Voelcker Award supplement internal nominations made by the panel of judges.

Submissions are now closed. The online nomination form is no longer active. Nominations will require a letter of support that describes in some detail how the poet meets the criteria for the award along with detailed information on the poet's past publications.