Real Good Poem Prize

Opens: June 01, 2017
Deadline: June 30, 2017

Judge: Jenny Johnson

Our annual single poem contest.  $2,000 for the winning poem, plus 25 original limited edition broadsides and publication in Rabbit Catastrophe Review. Finalists may also be published in RCR. Send up to three of your best REAL GOOD POEMS.

A fee of $20 includes a one year subscription to Rabbit Catastrophe Review. It also includes you in the RabCat community. All members receive feedback on their regular, non-contest submissions to RCR.

Rabbit Catastrophe Press in dedicated to publishing writers marginalized from mainstream literary communities. If you are queer, of color, trans, differently abled, or otherwise commonly excluded, we encourage you to submit. Any optional, personal information is welcome in your cover letter and will be kept confidential. While our goal is to find and celebrate an exceptional poem, we want to make it clear that Rabbit Catastrophe is a welcoming place for all writers.

Finalists will be chosen by members of the 2017 Workhorse Gauntlet Poetry Workshop, and will be announced July 2017. The winner will be announced August 2017. 

This contest is sponsored by Workhorse Literary Collective, which is committed to providing professionalizing opportunities for writers outside of the academy. 

All submissions should be sent HERE. Emailed submissions will not be considered. 

Jenny Johnson is the author of In Full Velvet, published by Sarabande Books in 2017.  Her many honors include a 2015 Whiting Award and a 2016-17 Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. She has also received awards and scholarships from the Blue Mountain Center, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo. Her poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry 2012, New England ReviewTroubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. After earning a BA/MT in English Education from the University of Virginia, she taught public school for several years in San Francisco, and she spent ten summers on the staff of the UVA Young Writer’s Workshop. She earned an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. She teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and at the Rainier Writing Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University’s low-residency MFA program.

Other Guidelines

  • No previously published works accepted for publication. 
  • Poems must be written in English. If the work is a translation, we must have the written consent of the original author, and the original work must have not been previously published in English. If a translation is chosen as the winner, both the English and non-English versions will be printed together, and the original author and translator will equally share prize money and other awards.
  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but we must be notified immediately if any poems are accepted elsewhere.
  • No cover sheet in your document is needed. Blind submissions are never really blind, so we are not even going to pretend. Any optional, personal information is welcome in your Submittable cover letter and will be kept confidential. 
  • Multiple entries by a single poet are accepted. Each group of three poems must be treated as a separate entry, each with an additional $20 fee. Each additional entry will add an extra year to your subscription.
  • Close friends and family of the Rabbit Catastrophe Press / Workhorse staff are ineligible. We define close friend as anyone we would invite to a slumber party.