2018 Open Book Poetry Competition

Judges: samuel amadon, Leora Fridman, & Jane lewty

* now closed *


The Cleveland State University Poetry Center welcomes submissions for our Open Book Poetry Competition; the winner will receive $1,000, publication, and a standard royalty contract. This year’s contest will be judged by a panel of previous CSU authors: Samuel Amadon, Leora Fridman, and Jane Lewty.

Samuel Amadon is the author of Like a Sea (University of Iowa Press), The Hartford Book (Cleveland State University Poetry Center), and Listener (Solid Objects), which is forthcoming in 2018. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina, where he teaches in the MFA program and runs the poetry journal Oversound with Liz Countryman.

Leora Fridman is author of My Fault (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2016), in addition to other books of poetry, prose, and translation. A 2017 Writer in Residence at Alley Cat Books and Real Time & Space, her work appears or is forthcoming in the New York Times, The Rumpus, Tricycle Magazine, Open Space, jubilat and Jacket2. Her work has been supported with grants and honors from institutions including Caldera, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Center for Cultural Innovation. More at leorafridman.com.

Jane Lewty is the author of Bravura Cool (1913 Press, 2013), winner of the 1913 First Book Prize in 2011, and In One Form To Find Another, selected for the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Open Book Competition in 2016. She has also co-edited two essay collections, Broadcasting Modernism (University of Florida Press, 2010) and Pornotopias: Image, Desire, Apocalypse (Litteraria Pragensia, 2009). She has taught at universities in the UK, The Netherlands, and the USA.


1. Manuscripts are eligible for the Open Book Poetry Competition if the author has published at least one full-length collection of original poetry in English (of 48 pages or more with a press run of at least 500 copies). ** This competition is not open to first books. ** Translations are not eligible.

2. Intimate friends, relatives, or current and former students of the panel of the judges are not eligible to submit. Faculty, staff, students, and alumni of Cleveland State University or the Northeast Ohio MFA Program (NEOMFA) are not eligible to submit their work.

Guidelines & Notes

1. Make sure to record your most current information (name, manuscript title, address, phone number, and email address) in your Submittable account; this is the information we will use to contact you. No other cover page or biographical information should be included in your submission and your name should not appear elsewhere in the manuscript. You may include an acknowledgments page that lists previously published poems.

2. Multiple submissions are welcome and simultaneous submissions are acceptable (please inform us immediately if the manuscript is accepted elsewhere).

3. The CSU Poetry Center reserves the right to consider all entrants for publication; a list of winners and finalists will be posted on the Poetry Center website in late summer/early fall of 2018.

To Submit

1. Upload your manuscript as a .docx or .pdf to Submittable (mail submissions are not eligible).

2. There is a $28 reading fee, which must be paid through Submittable. As a token of our appreciation for your readership and support of innovative literary publishing we will mail each writer a book from our 2018 spring catalog (which will include these titles). Books will ship in April; please make sure that the address listed in your Submittable account is up to date.

3. Email poetrycenter@csuohio.edu with any further questions.