Cave Canem Poetry Prize
Established in 1999, this first-book award is dedicated to the discovery of exceptional manuscripts by African American poets. The participation of distinguished judges and prominent literary presses has made this prize highly competitive.
2012 Winner: Dexter Booth for Scratching the Ghost praised by judge Major Jackson: "In Dexter Booth's Scratching the Ghost, a cracked egg means the universe is splitting, the slap of a double-dutch rope is a broken-throated hymn, and splitting a squealing hog is akin to love-making. These are poems loyal to their own intrepid logic and reckless plausibility. Yet, lest the reader get too giddy in a fun house of mirrors, here, too, are the melodic laments and remarkable lyric passages of a poet who acknowledges the infinite current of melancholy that underlines his journey."
2012 Honorable Mentions: Cherene Sherrard for Vixen Country and Saeed Jones for Prelude to a Bruise.
Final Judge: Tracy K. Smith
The deadline for submitting to the 2013 competition has passed. The winner of this year's competition will be announced in December 2013.