The UNT Rilke Prize | Department of English

The UNT Rilke Prize


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. 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.

Guidelines for the 2018 UNT Rilke Prize will be posted in August 2017.


2017 UNT Rilke Prize

Wayne Miller


Wayne Miller's Post-, published by Milkweed Editions, has won the 2017 UNT Rilke Prize. The $10,000 prize recognizes a book written by a mid-career poet and published in the preceding year that demonstrates exceptional artistry and vision. A Q&A and reception for Miller will be held on Wednesday, April 12, at UNT on the Square and a campus reading will take place on Thursday, April 13, 2017.

In his powerfully meditative book, Post-, Wayne Miller negotiates a contemporary world--post-911, post-financial-breakdown, post-post-modern--in terms both intimate and cultural, bereaved and entranced, clear-eyed and restless with all it will not, cannot, apprehend. The sense of belatedness emerges as a transformative force, a complexity ever modified by our elegiac attempts at ritual and reconciliation. Language, our one foundation, forms the river-stones we cross and cross again. As Miller states, "I realized// I was steering homeward/ the down payment/ of some house we might live in/ for the rest of our lives." Even the future, or rather our adaptive framing of it, bears the weight of a distinctively post-traumatic American past.

Wayne Miller is the author of four collections of poems, including Post-, The City, Our City, The Book of Props, and Only the Senses Sleep. He is also a co-translator of two books from the Albanian poet Moikom Zeqo, and a co-editor of three anthologies, including Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century and New European Poets. His work has been named a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award, the 2012 Rilke Prize, and the PEN Center USA Award in Translation. He is the recipient of the George Bogin Award, the Lucille Medwick Award, the Lyric Poetry Award, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, the Bess Hokin Prize, and a Fulbright to Queen's University Belfast. Miller co-curates the Pleiades Press Unsung Masters Series with Kevin Prufer and is a professor of English at the University of Colorado Denver, where he edits Copper Nickel.

The judges also selected three finalists for this year's Rilke Prize: Christopher Bakken's Eternity & Oranges (University of Pittsburgh Press), Ruth Ellen Kocher's Third Voice (Tupelo Press), and Dana Levin's Banana Palace (Copper Canyon Press).

UNT Rilke Prize Events:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

6:30 p.m.

Q&A / Reception

UNT on the Square

Thursday, April 13, 2017

8:00 p.m.

Reading & Book Signing

Click here to listen to an audio file of Wayne's campus reading on April 13, 2017.

UNT Rilke Prize Recipients:

Rick Barot, 2016 for Chord

Click here for a feature on KERA's Art & Seek!

Click here for an audio file of Rick's campus reading on April 14, 2016.

Mark Wunderlich, 2015 for The Earth Avails

Click here for more information about our 2015 winner.

Click here for KERA radio feature by Jerome Weeks

Click Here for an American Literary Review interview with Mark Wunderlich.

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.


The UNT Rilke Prize is offered by Creative Writing, Department of English and was founded in 2012.

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Contact: Lisa Vining / / 940-369-5981

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