11th Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize


Judge: Eavan Boland

The winner of the eleventh Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize is Austin Allen’s Pleasures of the Game.

Mr Allen, of Baltimore, Maryland, will receive a cheque for $3,000 and Waywiser will publish Pleasures of the Game, his first collection of poems, in October 2016, when he will read alongside Eavan Boland, the eleventh contest’s judge, at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

It took the press’s screening panel two months of careful reading, deliberation and discussion to narrow the field to the group of finalists which, stripped of all identifying reference, was then sent to Ms Boland. Her decision was relayed to the press in the second week of March.

Our congratulations go not just to Austin Allen and to those whose manuscripts reached the later stages of the contest – the semi-finalists and finalists are listed below – but to everyone else who entered. It is thanks to everyone who participated that the latest contest has been another resounding success.

More information about Austin Allen and most of the other poets who made it to the last stages of the contest, together with examples of their work, can be read by clicking on the relevant links below.


Austin Allen, Pleasures of the Game


(in name order)

J. Camp Brown, Slow of Speech and Tongue

Christopher Cessac, The Youngest Ocean

Chen Chen, When I Grow Up I want to Be a List of Further Possibilities

Scott Coffel, The Great Blue Question Mark

Jaclyn Dwyer, Girl of the Year

Martin Edmunds, Polychrome

Johnny Horton, Dog Days

Dana Koster, Binary Stars

Michael Lavers, After Earth

Nikki Moustaki, Dreaming of Chickens

Christopher Phelps, Kinder Garden

Marsha Pomerantz, Gneiss

Saara Myrene Raappana, You Are a House, You Are a Hammer, You’re the Momentum of a Nail

Austin Segrest, Barrel Roll

Mike White, Wordless