Milkweed Editions has announced that the Minneapolis literary nonprofit press is establishing in collaboration with a local law firm the annual Lindquist & Vennum Prize for poetry. The prize, which is open only to writers currently living in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, or Wisconsin, will award $10,000 and a contract for publication by Milkweed to the author of the winning manuscript.
This award, according to Milkweed publisher Daniel Slager, provides the largest purse for regional poetry established to date in the United States. “There are so many national and international poetry prizes,” he noted, “But none, as far as I know, that are as lucrative for regional poetry.” The first Lindquist & Vennum Prize-winning collection of poems will be published by Milkweed in November 2012. The judge for the first year’s submissions will be Peter Campion (The Lions), who’s received a Pushcart Prize, the Larry Levis Reading Prize, the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Campion teaches in the M.F.A. program at the University of Minnesota.
Milkweed sponsors two other literary prizes that are awarded annually, with recipients selected by Milkweed editors: the Milkweed National Fiction Prize and the Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature.