May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize

The 2018 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize is OPEN for submissions!

DEADLINE JUNE 30th, 2018!!

Online submissions click button below to see guidelines and submit

Guidelines and mailing address for paper submissions!

This year’s judge is David Blair! Blair is the author of three books of poetry, Ascension Days, which was chosen by Thomas Lux for the Del Sol Poetry Prize, Arsonville, and Friends with Dogs. His poems have appeared in Boston Review, Ploughshares, Slate Magazine, and many other places as well, including the anthologies, The Best of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud WristletDevouring the Green, and Zoland Poetry.

Blair teaches at Bentley University and in the online masters degree program at Southern New Hampshire University. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with his wife and daughter.

The Contest:

The May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize is awarded for a book-length collection of poetry. The book must be previously unpublished as a whole (poems within the collection that have appeared elsewhere are welcome, should your collection win the contest we’ll ask for an acknowledgments page noting where each poem was previously published.)

We welcome submissions from around the world, the only requirement being that the collection is written or translated into English. We also encourage past submitters to resubmit their work each year, one of our finalists one year was selected as winner the next! Every year a different notable New England poet will be selected as judge, we do not pre-screen manuscripts.

The poetry within the collection can be on any topic and in any poetic form.

Entry fee: It costs $25 per manuscript to submit, this fee helps cover contest costs so we can continue to find and publish great poets!


The Prize:



2018 marks the eighth annual May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize. Past winners include The Light of What Comes After by Jen Town (selected by Jennifer Militello), Louder than Hearts by Zeina Hashem Beck (selected by Betsy Sholl) Devil’s Paintbrush by Desirée Alvarez (selected by Mekeel McBride), Life of the Garment by Deborah Gorlin (selected by Gary Margolis), Twine by David Koehn (selected by Jeff Friedman) Come Down to Earth by Nils Michals (selected by Alice B. Fogel), and The Wreck of Birds by Rebecca Givens Rolland (selected by Walter Butts).  Be sure to check out their winning collections.


The Light of What Comes After by Jen Town

2017 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize Winner

We are pleased to announce Jen Town as the winner of the 2017 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize. Her  collection The Light of What Comes After will be published April, 2018.

The judge was Jennifer Militello, author of four poetry collections including A Camouflage of Specimens and Garments (Tupelo Press, 2016), finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award and the Sheila Margaret Motton Prize. 


306-83D-Mayatdesk1The May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize is named for May Sarton, the renowned novelist, memoirist, poet, and feminist (1912-1995) who lived for many years in Nelson, New Hampshire, not far from Peterborough, home of William L. Bauhan Publishing. In 1967, she approached Bauhan and asked him to publish her book of poetry, As Does New Hampshire. She wrote the collection to celebrate the bicentennial of Nelson, and dedicated it to the residents of the town.

May Sarton was a prolific writer of poetry, novels, and perhaps what she is best known for—nonfiction on growing older (Recovering: A Journal, Journal of Solitude, among others.) She considered herself a poet, first, though, and in honor of that and to celebrate the centenary of her birth in 2012, Sarah Bauhan, who inherited her father’s small publishing company, launched the prize.