June 10, 2024
Nicole Sealey to Judge 2025 APR/Honickman First Book Prize

The prize of $3,000, with an introduction by the judge and distribution of the winning book by Copper Canyon Press through Consortium, will be awarded in 2025 with publication of the book in the same year. The author will receive a standard book publishing contract, with royalties paid in addition to the $3,000 prize. This year's final judge is poet Nicole Sealey.


Nicole Sealey is the author of The Ferguson Report: An Erasure, an excerpt from which was awarded the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem, Ordinary Beast, finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the PEN Open Book Award, and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her honors include a 2023-2024 Cullman Center Fellowship from the New York Public Library, a Rome Prize in Literature from the American Academy in Rome, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from The American Poetry Review, and fellowships from CantoMundo, Cave Canem, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her work has appeared in various journals including The AtlanticThe New Yorker, and Poetry London. She teaches in the MFA Writers Workshop in Paris program at New York University. 


The prize is open to poets who have not published a book-length collection of poems with a registered ISBN. Poems previously published in journals or limited-edition chapbooks may be included in the manuscript, but the entire manuscript itself must not have been published as a book-length work. Translations are not eligible nor are works written by multiple authors. The editors of The American Poetry Review will screen manuscripts for the judge. APR complies with the CLMP Code of Ethics in the administration of this contest. The judge will select a manuscript in an anonymous review process and will not award the prize to any writer whose personal relationship to the judge poses a conflict of interest.

  To be considered for the prize, submit a manuscript of 48 pages or more, single-spaced, paginated, with a table of contents and acknowledgments.

  • Manuscripts must be received by October 1, 2024 The winning author and all other entrants will be notified by January 15, 2025.
  • You may simultaneously submit your manuscript elsewhere, but please notify us immediately if it is accepted for publication. Submission of more than one manuscript is permissible; each must be under a separate cover. 
  • The winning author will have time to revise the manuscript after acceptance, but please send no revisions during the reading period.


Submit here or mail your submission and $25 entry fee to APR/Honickman First Book Prize, The American Poetry Review, 1906 Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA 19103. 


  • sealey n photo by rachel eliza griffiths 1