Snyder Prize

The Richard Snyder Memorial Publication Prize

This poetry book series honors the memory of Richard Snyder (1925-1986), poet, fiction writer, playwright, and long-time professor of English at Ashland University. He served for fifteen years as English department chair, and in 1969 co-founded and served as co-editor of the Ashland Poetry Press. He was also co-founder of the creative writing major at Ashland University, one of the first at the undergraduate level in the country. In selecting manuscripts for this series, Ashland Poetry Press editors keep in mind Snyder's tenacious dedication to craftsmanship and thematic integrity.

Submissions to the Snyder Prize are screened by Deborah Fleming, Editor.

Admissions are now closed, but will reopen on January 1, 2016. Watch for an announcement soon on our 2016 Snyder Prize judge.

The 2015 Snyder Prize judge was David St. John

David St. JohnDavid St. John has been honored, over the course of his career, with many of the most significant prizes for poets, including both the Prix de Rome Fellowship and an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the O. B. Hardison Prize (a career award for teaching and poetic achievement) from The Folger Shakespeare Library, and the George Drury Smith Lifetime Achievement Award from Beyond Baroque. He is the author of ten collections of poetry (including Study for the World’s Body, nominated for The National Book Award in Poetry), most recently, The Auroras, as well as a volume of essays, interviews and reviews entitled Where the Angels Come Toward Us.

He is also the co-editor of American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of New Poetry. David St. John lives in Venice Beach.

The Winner of the Snyder Prize Receives:

  • $1,000.00
  • publication of winning manuscript in a paperback edition
  • 50 copies of the published book (in lieu of royalties)
  • featured reading at Ashland University (optional)

Former Snyder Prize Winners:

  • Daneen Wardrop 2015, for Life as It
  • Anna George Meek 2014, for The Genome Rhapsodies
  • J. David Cummings 2013, for Tancho
  • Robin Davidson 2012, for Luminous Other
  • Gabriel Spera 2011, for The Rigid Body
  • Mary Makofske 2010, for Traction
  • Jason Schneiderman 2009, for Striking Surface
  • Marc J. Sheehan 2008, for Vengeful Hymns
  • Helen Pruitt Wallace 2007, for Shimming the Glass House
  • Lorna Knowles Blake 2006, for Permanent Address
  • Benjamin S. Grossberg 2005, for Underwater Lengths in a Single Breath
  • Christine Gelineau 2004, for Remorseless Loyalty
  • Vern Rutsala 2003, for The Moment's Equation
  • Carol Barrett 2002, for Calling in the Bones
  • Corrinne Clegg Hales 2001, for Separate Escapes
  • Jan Lee Ande 2000, for Instructions for Walking on Water
  • Philip Brady 1999, for Weal
  • David Ray 1998, for Demons in the Diner
  • Wendy Battin 1997, for Little Apocalypse

The 2003 Snyder winner, The Moment's Equation by Vern Rutsala (published in December 2004), was a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award.

The 2004 Snyder winner, Remorseless Loyalty by Christine Gelineau, was nominated by David St. John for the 2006 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry.

The 2007 winner, Shimming the Glass House by Helen Pruitt Wallace, won the Bronze medal in the 2008 Florida Book Awards Poetry category.

The 2008 winner, Vengeful Hymns by Marc J. Sheehan, was the finalist for the Society of Midland Authors Poetry Competition.

The 2013 winner, Tancho by J. David Cummings, won the gold award in the Independent Book Publishers Association Benjamin Franklin Award.

2016 Submission Guidelines:

  • Book-length poetry manuscripts
  • Original collection of poems of 64 to 96 pages, with no more than one poem per page, single sided
  • Single spaced
  • Deadline: April 1, 2016 (Please Note: earlier deadline)
  • Translations are not eligible
  • Ashland University MFA Program alumni, AU employees, and AU employees' spouses are not eligible
  • Past students of the judge should refrain from submitting to this contest
  • Electronic Submissions: Manuscripts may be submitted electronically, through Submittable, for $27 (to cover credit card fees)
  • Hard-Copy Submissions: Bound by a single clip: No Folders or Notebooks, Please
    • Two title pages: one with name, address, and phone number and one with title only
    • $25 reading fee made payable to The Ashland Poetry Press
    • Mail one hard copy to:

The Richard Snyder Publication Prize
The Ashland Poetry Press
Ashland University
401 College Ave.
Ashland, OH 44805

For notification, enclose a letter-sized self-addressed, stamped envelope. All manuscripts other than the winning one will be recycled.

Submissions for 2016 will open in January 2016. Look for our announcement in an upcoming issue of The Writers' Chronicle (AWP) and Poets & Writers.


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