The Poetry Society of Virginia Book Award for 2019


Elizabeth Murawaski


The Poetry Society of Virginia is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Murawaski has won our annual Book Award Contest in 2019 for her work titled, "Heiress", published by Texas Review Press. Elisabeth Murawski holds an MFA from George Mason University and is a well-published poet. She has been awarded a Hawthornden fellowship and the May Swenson Poetry Award, as well as residencies at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Achill Heinrich Boll Association, she is author of the collection Moon and Mercury and two chapbooks--Troubled by an Angel and Out-Patients. Over 200 of her poems have appeared in journals that include Yale Review, New Republic, Virginia Quarterly Review, Field, Ontario Review, Antioch Review, Southern Review, Dubliner, Poetry Northwest, and others. She is a native of Chicago, but currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia. | Link: Texas Review Press


Runners Up

Rob Carney

Book of Sharks

Rob Carney is originally from Washington state. He is the author of four previous books, a prior finalist for the Washington State Book Award, and the a winner of the Utah Book Award for Poetry. His work has appeared in Cave Wall, Poecology, Sugar House Review, Terrain: A Journal of the Built and Natural Environments, and dozens of other journals, as well as the Norton anthology Flash Fiction Forward (2006). In 2014 he received the Robinson Jeffers/Tor House Foundation Award for seven of the poems included in his forthcoming collection The Book of Sharks. He is a Professor of English and Literature at Utah Valley University and lives in Salt Lake City. | Link: Black Lawrence Press

Jacqueline Berger

The Day You Miss Your Exit

Jacqueline Berger is a prior winner of the Bluestem Poetry Prize, the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize, and the Autumn House Poetry Prize. Her poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor's Writers Almanac. She is a professor of English and directs the graduate program at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA. A native of Los Angeles, Jacqueline lives in San Francisco with her husband. | Link: Broadstone Books


Prior Book Award Winners by Year


Winner: Patricia Clark for her book The Canopy
Runner-up: Susan Hankla for her book Clinch River


Winner: Mary Jean Kledzik for her book As if Wine Could Pour from Her Nipple.
Runner-up: Amy MacLennan for her book The Body, a Tree


Winner: Rebecca Foust for her book, Paradise Drive

Click here to download the Submission Form


The book of poetry submitted must be the work of a single author of at least 48 pages published in 2018 by an established press. Manuscripts, videos, CDs, and chapbooks are not accepted, nor are books that have won awards. It is expected that books will contain a collection of new poems and/or previously published poems.

Submission Date

Three copies of the submitted book must be sent to Nancy Powell (postmarked on or before February 1, 2019).

Nancy Powell
164 Mill Point Drive
Hampton, VA 23669

The Award Committee

Chaired by Nancy Powell, the Award Committee is composed of Henry Hart, Sofia Starnes, Joshua Poteat, Jane Ellen Glasser, and Ron Smith.

Final Judge: Eric Pankey

Eric Pankey currently teaches at George Mason University and resides in Fairfax, Virginia. His work has appeared in the Antioch Review, the Antaeus, the Denver Quarterly, the Seneca Review, Quarry West, and AGNI. He has been honored with the Walt Whitman Award (selected by Mark Strand in 1984) and the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and the National Endowment for the Arts. Read more about Mr. Pankey at


The winner will receive a plaque, a $500 monetary award, and will be recognized at the May Poetry Festival of the Poetry Society of Virginia.


$25 for members of the PSV; $35 for non-members (includes one-year membership to PSV)

Questions? Click here to contact Nancy Powell.