Voertman / Academy of American Poets Prize | Department of English

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Voertman / Academy of American Poets Prize

The Academy of Poets, as part of their Academy Book Awards, sponsors the University and College Poetry Prize Program to distribute annual prizes at over 200 colleges and universities nationwide. The program is notable for having recognized many of America's premier poetic voices during their college years, including Diane Ackerman, Alice Fulton, Tess Gallagher, Allen Grossman, Kimiko Hahn, Robert Hass, Brad Leithauser, J.D. McClatchy, Heather McHugh, and Gregory Orr, among others. https://poets.org


2020 Voertman / Academy of American Poets Prize

Aza Pace

Kathleen Graber has selected "My Father Asks What I'm Looking At" by Aza Pace as the winner of the 2020 Voertman / Academy of American Poets Prize.

She writes: "My Father Asks What I'm Looking At" unfolds at the intersection of image and imagination. Advancing at the pace of a quiet evening coming on, this poem offers its readers a steadily deepening exploration into the mystery of our connection to one another and to all things.

Aza will receive $200 and be named in the Academy of American Poets annual report.

Congratulations, Aza!


Previous Winners

  • 2019 Megan Arlett for "Jaw"
  • 2018 Megan Arlett for "Turn of the Millennium"
  • 2017 Andrew Koch for "Inheritance"
  • 2016 Chelsea Wagenaar for "The Spinning Place"
  • 2015 Matt Haines for "The Instructor"
  • 2014 Chelsea Wagenaar for "August"
  • 2013 Justin Bigos for "Three Rivers"


Paul Voertman endowed the Voertman / Academy of American Poets Prize for creative writing graduate students at UNT.

Video: In memory of Paul Voertman https://youtu.be/ZYI66KB4Xuw

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