Voertman / Academy of American Poets Prize | Department of English

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/academy-american-poets/prizes/university-college-poetr...

2021 Voertman / Academy of American Poets Prize

Aza Pace

Kiki Petrosino has selected "Chapel" by Aza Pace as the winner of the 2021 Voertman / Academy of American Poets Prize.

Petrosino writes:

This poem finds ecstasy in the earthbound, choosing the language of leaf-light over theology's "narrow blue." I admire the finely wrought imagery & the deep intimacy of the address as we witness the body becoming a net(work), sifting & holding all there is, in this world, to love.

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

An honorable mention goes to "Travertine" by Andrew Koch.



Previous Winners

  • 2020 Aza Pace for "My Father Asks What I'm Looking At"
  • 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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