Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

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The Pulitzer Prize for Poetry is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes given every year for Books, Drama, and Music. It was first given in 1922.[1]

The prize is given "For a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author."[2] That means it is given for an important book of original poetry. The book must be published during the calendar year before the prize is given.

Since 1980, two finalists (other important books) have been named at the same time as the winner.[3]

1918 and 1919 special prizes[change | change source]

Before the establishment of the award, the 1918 and 1919 Pulitzer cycles included three Pulitzer Prize Special Citations and Awards (called at the time the Columbia University Poetry Prize) for poetry books funded by "a special grant from The Poetry Society."

Winners[change | change source]

In its first 92 years to 2013, the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry was awarded 92 times. Two were given in 2008, none in 1946. Robert Frost won the prize four times and some other poets won it more than once).

1920s[change | change source]

  • 1922: Collected Poems by Edwin Arlington Robinson
  • 1923: "The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver", A Few Figs from Thistles, and "Eight Sonnets", by Edna St. Vincent Millay
  • 1924: New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes by Robert Frost
  • 1925: The Man Who Died Twice by Edwin Arlington Robinson
  • 1926: What's O'Clock by Amy Lowell
  • 1927: Fiddler's Farewell by Leonora Speyer
  • 1928: Tristram by Edwin Arlington Robinson
  • 1929: John Brown's Body by Stephen Vincent Benét

1930s[change | change source]

  • 1930: Selected Poems by Conrad Aiken
  • 1931: Collected Poems by Robert Frost
  • 1932: The Flowering Stone by George Dillon
  • 1933: Conquistador by Archibald MacLeish
  • 1934: Collected Verse by Robert Hillyer
  • 1935: Bright Ambush by Audrey Wurdemann
  • 1936: Strange Holiness by Robert P. T. Coffin
  • 1937: A Further Range by Robert Frost
  • 1938: Cold Morning Sky by Marya Zaturenska
  • 1939: Selected Poems by John Gould Fletcher

1940s[change | change source]

  • 1940: Collected Poems by Mark Van Doren
  • 1941: Sunderland Capture by Leonard Bacon
  • 1942: The Dust Which Is God by William Rose Benét
  • 1943: A Witness Tree by Robert Frost
  • 1944: Western Star by Stephen Vincent Benét
  • 1945: V-Letter and Other Poems by Karl Shapiro
  • 1946: no award given
  • 1947: Lord Weary's Castle by Robert Lowell
  • 1948: The Age of Anxiety by W. H. Auden
  • 1949: Terror and Decorum by Peter Viereck

1950s[change | change source]

1960s[change | change source]

  • 1960: Heart's Needle by W. D. Snodgrass
  • 1961: Times Three: Selected Verse From Three Decades by Phyllis McGinley
  • 1962: Poems by Alan Dugan
  • 1963: Pictures from Brueghel by William Carlos Williams
  • 1964: At The End Of The Open Road by Louis Simpson
  • 1965: 77 Dream Songs by John Berryman
  • 1966: Selected Poems by Richard Eberhart
  • 1967: Live or Die by Anne Sexton
  • 1968: The Hard Hours by Anthony Hecht
  • 1969: Of Being Numerous by George Oppen

1970s[change | change source]

1980s[change | change source]

Indented entries are finalists after each year's winner.

  • 1980: Selected Poems by Donald Justice
    • Goshawk, Antelope by Dave Smith
    • Selected Poems by Richard Hugo
  • 1981: The Morning of the Poem by James Schuyler
    • Selected Poems by Mark Strand
    • The Right Madness on Skye by Richard Hugo
  • 1982: The Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath
  • 1983: Selected Poems by Galway Kinnell
    • Country Music, Selected Early Poems by Charles Wright
    • Monolithos, Poems 1962 and 1982 by Jack Gilbert
  • 1984: American Primitive by Mary Oliver
    • Collected Poems, 1930-1982 by Josephine Miles
    • Weather-Fear: New and Selected Poems by John Engels
  • 1985: Yin by Carolyn Kizer
  • 1986: The Flying Change by Henry S. Taylor
    • Saints and Strangers by Andrew Hudgins
    • Selected Poems, 1963-1983 by Charles Simic
  • 1987: Thomas and Beulah by Rita Dove
  • 1988: Partial Accounts: New and Selected Poems by William Meredith
    • Flesh and Blood by C.K. Williams
    • Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969-1980 and Next: New Poems by Lucille Clifton
  • 1989: New and Collected Poems by Richard Wilbur
    • The One Day by Donald Hall
    • The River of Heaven by Garrett Hongo

1990s[change | change source]

Indented entries are finalists after each year's winner.

2000s[change | change source]

Indented entries are finalists after each year's winner. Two prizes were awarded in 2008.

  • 2000: Repair by C. K. Williams
    • Elegy for the Southern Drawl by Rodney Jones
    • Midnight Salvage: Poems 1995-1998 by Adrienne Rich
  • 2001: Different Hours by Stephen Dunn
    • Pursuit of a Wound by Sydney Lea
    • The Other Lover by Bruce Smith
  • 2002: Practical Gods by Carl Dennis
  • 2003: Moy Sand and Gravel by Paul Muldoon
  • 2004: Walking to Martha's Vineyard by Franz Wright
    • Eyeshot by Heather McHugh
    • Middle Earth by Henri Cole
  • 2005: Delights & Shadows by Ted Kooser
    • Search Party: Collected Poems by William Matthews
    • The Orchard by Brigit Pegeen Kelly
  • 2006: Late Wife by Claudia Emerson
    • American Sublime by Elizabeth Alexander
    • Elegy on Toy Piano by Dean Young
  • 2007: Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey
    • Interrogation Palace: New & Selected Poems 1982-2004 by David Wojahn
    • The Republic of Poetry by Martín Espada
  • 2008: Time and Materials by Robert Hass and Failure by Philip Schultz
    • Messenger: New and Selected Poems, 1976-2006 by Ellen Bryant Voigt
  • 2009: The Shadow of Sirius by W. S. Merwin
    • Watching the Spring Festival by Frank Bidart
    • What Love Comes To: New & Selected Poems by Ruth Stone

2010s[change | change source]

Indented entries are finalists after each year's winner.

  • 2010: Versed by Rae Armantrout
    • Inseminating the Elephant by Lucia Perillo
    • Tryst by Angie Estes
  • 2011: The Best of It: New and Selected Poems by Kay Ryan
    • Break the Glass by Jean Valentine
    • The Common Man by Maurice Manning
  • 2012: Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith
    • Core Samples from the World by Forrest Gander
    • How Long by Ron Padgett
  • 2013: Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds
    • Collected Poems by Jack Gilbert
    • The Abundance of Nothing by Bruce Weigl
  • 2014: 3 Sections by Vijay Seshadri
    • The Big Smoke by Adrian Matejka
    • The Sleep of Reason by Morri Creech
  • 2015: Digest by Gregory Pardlo
    • Compass Rose by Arthur Sze
    • Reel to Reel by Alan Shapiro
  • 2016: Ozone Journal by Peter Balakian
    • Alive: New and Selected Poems by Elizabeth Willis
    • Four-Legged Girl by Diane Seuss
  • 2017: Olio by Tyehimba Jess
    • Collected Poems: 1950-2012 by Adrienne Rich
    • XX by Campbell McGrath
  • 2018: Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2016 by Frank Bidart
    • Incendiary Art, by Patricia Smith
    • semiautomatic, by Evie Shockley
  • 2019: Be With by Forrest Gander
    • feeld by Jos Charles
    • Like by A.E. Stallings

2020s[change | change source]

Indented entries are finalists after each year's winner.

  • 2020: The Tradition by Jericho Brown
    • Dunce by Mary Ruefle
    • Only as the Day Is Long: New and Selected Poems by Dorianne Laux
  • 2021: Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz
    • A Treatise on Stars by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge
    • In the Lateness of the World by Carolyn Forché
  • 2022: frank: sonnets by Diane Seuss[4]
    • Refractive Africa: Ballet of the Forgotten by Will Alexander
    • Yellow Rain by Mai Der Vang

References[change | change source]

  1. "Prize Winners by Year". The Pulitzer Prizes. 2023. Retrieved February 6, 2023.
  2. "Poetry". The Pulitzer Prizes. 2023. Retrieved February 6, 2023.
  3. "Prize Winners by Year - 1980". The Pultizer Prizes. 2023. Retrieved February 6, 2023.
  4. "2022 Pulitzer Prizes & Finalists". The Pulitzer Prizes. May 9, 2022. Retrieved May 9, 2022.