The annual prize – open to poets currently residing in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, or Wisconsin – will award the author $10,000 as well as a contract for publication of the winning manuscript.
Daniel Slager, Publisher & CEO of Milkweed Editions says the prize will help bring the work of outstanding regional poets to an international stage:
We wanted to establish a prize that encourages and rewards poets substantially, for their important but often neglected contribution to our culture. And as we looked carefully at the numerous poetry prizes already in existence, we saw a number of wonderful national and international prizes, but not as many–certainly not at this financial level–regional prizes.
Finalists for the prize will be selected by the editors of Milkweed Editions, with the winner to be selected by an independent judge. This year, the judge will be Minneapolis poet Peter Campion. The first annual prize-winning collection of poems will be announced in April 2012 and published in November 2012.