Ends on October 1, 2018

$25.00 USD

The Sexton Prize is an annual publication award now with a $1,500 honorarium for an outstanding new collection of poetry by an American poet. The winning manuscript will be published by Eyewear Publishing LTD and distributed, and marketed in both the United States and the United Kingdom, simultaneously in the Spring of 2019, if possible to coincide with an AWP conference.

The Sexton Prize is open to poets at all career stages, from emerging to established; poets of every age and level of publication experience are encouraged to submit. Finalists will also be considered for publication.

Submissions close OCTOBER 1 - extended.

The final judge for the 2018 Sexton Prize is the major Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet and critic, Professor Lloyd Schwartz.

Lloyd Schwartz was born on November 29, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Queens College of the City University of New York in 1962 and earned his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1976. Schwartz’s most recent book of poetry is Little Kisses (University of Chicago, 2017) - other books are Cairo Traffic (University of Chicago Press, 2000), which was preceded by Goodnight, Gracie (University of Chicago Press, 1992) and These People (Wesleyan University Press, 1981). He is also editor of two volumes of collected works by Elizabeth Bishop: Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose and Letters (Library of America, 2008), which he co-edited with Robert Giroux, and Prose (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011). Schwartz’s most recent book, Music In—and On—the Air (PFP, 2013), is a collection of his music reviews that appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air.  About his work, the poet Richard Howard has said: “The poet has extended his reach as well as his grasp, and we are the richer for it, through no less ravaged: these people (and these poems) are devastated by life, of which they offer us, unnervingly, the flagrant shards.” His poems, articles, and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, The New Republic, The Paris Review, and The Best American Poetry series. In 1994, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. Schwartz has taught at Boston State College, Queens College, and Harvard University, and is currently Frederick S. Troy Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. He is also the senior editor of classical music for New York Arts and a regular commentator on NPR’s Fresh Air.


• Submissions must be made via Eyewear Publishing LTD’s Submittable page. The fee to submit is $25. Entrants receive a 50% off coupon code for use on any Eyewear title. There will be an early-bird fee for submissions made before February 1 2018, of $15.

• Manuscripts must be original work, between 48 and 100 pages in length, by a single author, in the English language, single-space and with 12 font size Arial or Times New Roman. There are no restrictions on style or subject matter. The Eyewear staff encourage writers from diverse backgrounds to submit their work.

• Individual poems in the submission may have been previously published online, in periodicals, or in chapbooks, but the collection as a whole must not have been previously published (self-publishing constitutes prior publication).

• Submissions should be made without the inclusion of an acknowledgments page, as the judge will not consider this information.


The Sexton Prize is open to American poets who either reside in the United States of America. or who will be residing there for at least a year, as of January, 2018. The Prize is open to citizens as well as residents holding legal permission, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, Temporary Protected, and Legal Permanent (“green card”), among others. Contact Eyewear if you have questions about eligibility or would like us to consider a circumstance not named above - at info@eyewearpublishing.com.

Code of Ethics

• All entries will be screened by the Eyewear Publishing LTD staff; we will not use students or interns to screen submissions. 

• The Final Judge of The 2017 Sexton Prize is Lloyd Schwartz. Close friends, employees, family members, and current students of the final judge are not eligible to submit to The Sexton Prize.

• Authors who have had a full-length work of poetry published by Eyewear Publishing LTD or who are under contract with Eyewear are not eligible to submit to The Sexton Prize.

• The Sexton Prize takes its name from the church office of the sexton: a custodian of sacred objects and a ringer of bells that call communities to gather. It’s our mission in The Sexton Prize to be caretakers of literary talent in our time, and to sound the call for international literary communities to come together in the celebration of poetry.