The UNT Rilke Prize

The prize is named after the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), a writer whose work embodies the qualities of ambition, intellectual and imaginative scope, and technical mastery we seek to recognize.


An annual award of a $10,000 award recognizing a book that demonstrates exceptional artistry and vision written by a mid-career poet and published in the preceding year.


  • Entrants must have published at least two previous books of poetry and be U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens of the United States.
  • Work must be original poetry written in English.
  • Books may be submitted by presses or by writers themselves and must be postmarked by November 30, 2015.
  • Eligible books must have been published between November 1, 2014 and October 31, 2015.
  • Each submission must include 2 copies of the book and a completed entry form.
  • Self-published books will not be considered.
  • Chapbooks are not considered previous publications.
  • Finalists may be asked to submit further copies.
  • Books will not be returned.

The winner will travel to Texas to give readings at UNT and in the DFW metroplex on April 13th and 14th, 2016. UNT will pay for travel expenses. The author must also allow portions of the winning work to be reproduced for promoting the award. Poets who enter the prize must agree to these terms in order to accept the prize.

Results will be announced in January.


The prize will be judged by UNT's poetry faculty.

Submission Requirements

Authors or publishers will mail completed entry form with the two copies of the book submission.

Entry form (found here). Please "save as" to your desktop and complete the form.

Mail entry form and submissions to:

The UNT Rilke Prize
Department of English
University of North Texas
1155 Union Circle #311307
Denton, TX 76203-5017


UNT Rilke Prize Recipients:

Mark Wunderlich, 2015 for The Earth Avails

Click here for more information about our latest winner!

Click here for KERA radio feature by Jerome Weeks

Click Here for an interview with our latest winner.

Katie Peterson, 2014 for The Accounts

Click here for more information about 2014 winner.

Click here for a podcast interview with Katie Peterson.

Click here for an interview and radio piece by Jerome Weeks.

Paisley Rekdal, 2013 for Animal Eye

Click here for more information about the 2013 winner!

Click here for a podcast interview with Paisley Rekdal.

Laura Kasischke, 2012 for Space, in Chains

Click here for more information about our inaugural winner!

Click here for a podcast interview with Laura Kasischke.

If you have any questions please contact Lisa Vining at or 940-369-5981.