Ends on September 15, 2019

$10.00 USD

A prize of $500 and publication in Poetry International will be given for a single poem written for refugees currently being detained pending their hearings. (A similar prize will be offered to refugee poets in U.S. detention centers.) Our judge for 2019 is Ilya Kaminsky. 

Entry fees will be used to fund the prize, and any money leftover will be delivered directly to the refugees’ canteens for their personal use (for purchase of such essentials as food and phone time). All entries are considered for publication. 

We encourage poets to visit http://www.detaineeallies.org to learn more about the refugees and their living situations. All suitable poems (not just the winners) will be published and/or distributed to detainees at Otay Mesa detention center in Otay Mesa, California, and possibly to other centers nationwide.

  • Only previously unpublished work is eligible for consideration.
  • Provide your contact information & title of your poem submitted on the title page.
  • Author name and information should appear only on the title page. Please make your entry easy to read--no illustrations, fancy fonts or decorative borders.
  • DECLINED ENTRIES will not receive an email, only a status change


Simultaneous Submission Allowed: You may submit your poems simultaneously.  Please note whether or not any poems/entries are simultaneous submissions.

Poems translated from other languages are not eligible unless you wrote both the original poem and the translation.

The winner is announced on our blog and website.