Walt Whitman

UnCollected Press considers Walt Whitman to be a beloved member of it’s innner circle of poets. It is for this reason that UCP has established The Walt Whitman Prize for Poetry as an annual contest. Though we are NOT looking for poems that in form and content are direct analogs to those of Walt Whitman’s, we are looking for poetry that exhibits the same kind of fearless, compassionate and exuberant expression of imagery, insights, language and forms that we find mostly typical of Walt’s artwork. Understanding that Walt, like the rest of us, is an amalgam of features and flaws, triumphs and failures, beauty and ugliness in art, we are NOT expecting poetry of some lofty, unattainable and attenuated ideal. Walt, despite his inclination to soar, was also a grounded poet. We would like this homage to Walt Whitman to a way into experiencing your poetry. And, we hope to discover and be privileged participants in your own Walt-ish poetry.

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  1. The winning poem will receive a $200 award and will be announced on the home page of the RAR website. A First Runner-up poem will receive a $50 award and will be announced on the home page of the RAR Website. Four additional poems will receive $25 runner-up awards and will be announced on the home page of the RAR website. Honorable mention poems will be announced on the home page of the RAR Website.
  2. The poets whose poems are selected as Winner and First Runner-up will be invited to submit a chapbook or (full) book length manuscript of poetry for publication – with no reading fee.
  3. The sole criteria for selecting Winner, First Runner-up, Runner-up and Honorable Mention poems is the power of the poem’s impact on our editors. Poems that enthrall and move us the most with their ideas, images, language and tradecraft are the poems that will be selected.
  4. There are no preconceptions for form and content. There are no particular trade-craft expectations. Single or double space, left-center-right alignment, long lines/short lines, standard use of punctuation or not, etc.
  5. TYPOS – we understand it is difficult to catch all typos. NOTE: we will presume an “error” is volitional, so for the purpose of maintaining your intent for the poem it is in your best interest to review carefully, get help from other readers, etc.. The Raw Art Review offers a manuscript preparation service. Email us at the following email if you would like us to help you with basic copy and line editing: editor@therawartreview.com.
  6. Editors are prohibited from rejecting a poem on first read. All poems get at least 2 reads before a decision is made. Editors assume you are smarter than we are. We will strive to understand your intention, stay open-minded, and try to avoid imposing our presumptions on your work.
  7. Review of poems is blind. Please do not put your name or any other identifying information on your pages.
  8. The BIO is not required at this time, but feel free to include a BIO in the cover letter. You can also use the cover letter space provided on the submission form to discuss your poem or skip the cover letter entirely. What you write as a cover letter will have no bearing on selection for the prize. The cover letter will only be read after selections are made. We love reading your cover letters though – please feel free to expound.
  9. With your permission, a poem that is declined may be “shelved” for future consideration.
  10. 3 poems per entry. Multiple entries are fine but the fee applies to each additional submission of up to 3 poems.
  11. We accept Word, Google Docs, PDF and Rich Text Formats. We prefer Word Format and may request the file be re-sent in Word for poems that are accepted for publication.
  12. Simultaneous submission is fine. Please notify us if a poem is accepted elsewhere.
  13. Previously published poems are eligible provided the submitter owns the rights to re-publish. We are happy to recognize the original publisher upon your request.
  14. Submission Deadline is SUNDAY, AUGUST 14, 2022.
  15. Submission fee is $15. We are offering an expedite fee of $5 with selection to the shortlist for the prize and acceptance for publication in The Raw Art Review. Review and notification will be completed in 2 weeks or less.
  16. We prefer the use of Submittable for submissions. An author’s Submittable account is free. If you have trouble with your Submittable submission, feel free to email us for help at editor@therawartreview.com. If you can not use Submittable, you may email your submissions to editor@therawartreview.com. You will be billed for the submission fee.
  17. We recognize that the fee may be a deterrent for some submitters who are challenged by financial hardship. We consider a limited number of requests for financial aid in covering the submission fee. Please send an email to editor@therawartreview.com to make a request for financial aid. PLEASE NOTE: UCP/RAR has its own financial challenges, so please do not request financial aid unless it is absolutely necessary. Thank you.