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.

Maggie Smith

The 2019 Snyder Prize judge is Maggie Smith (pictured above).

Maggie Smith is the author of three books of poetry: Good Bones (Tupelo Press, 2017); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (2015); and Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press, 2005). Smith is also the author of three prizewinning chapbooks. Her poems are widely published and anthologized, appearing in Best American Poetry, the New York Times, Tin House, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. In 2016 her poem “Good Bones” went viral internationally and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Public Radio International called it “the official poem of 2016.”

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)

2019 Submission Guidelines:

  • Book-length poetry manuscripts
  • Original collection of poems 48 to 96 pages, with no more than one poem per page, single sided.
  • Single spaced
  • Deadline: April 30, 2019
  • Translations are not eligible
  • Ashland University MFA Program alumni, AU employees, and AU employees' spouses are not eligible
  • Past students, family, friends, and co-workers of the final 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 mailed notification, enclose a letter-sized self-addressed, stamped envelope. All manuscripts other than the winning one will be recycled.

Former Snyder Prize Winners:

  • Barbara Ungar, 2018, for Save Our Ship 
  • Michael S. Moos, 2017, for The Idea of the Garden
  • Pamela Sutton, 2016, for Burning My Birth Certificate
  • 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 medal in the Independent Book Publishers Association Benjamin Franklin Award.

The 2015 winner, Life As It by Daneen Wardrop, won the gold medal for poetry in the 2017 Independent Publishers Book Award.


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