Best New Poets

July 4, 2021

Best New Poets 2020Best New Poets is an annual anthology of fifty poems from emerging writers. The anthology began in 2005 under series editor Jeb Livingood with George Garrett serving as the first guest editor. Our audience has grown over the years, in large part due to the efforts of Jazzy Danziger when she served as series editor from 2011 to 2015, and the book is currently distributed nationally as a University of Virginia Press title and produced in cooperation with Meridian, an annual literary magazine from the University of Virginia.

Bookstores and other outlets interested in stocking Best New Poets can place orders via Longleaf here.

The anthology takes submissions from three sources:

  • nominations from literary magazines in the United States and Canada,
  • nominations from graduate-level writing programs in the United States and Canada, and
  • entries from an annual open competition.

All entries go into a single anonymized pool where readers rank the submissions. A finalist pool of 150 to 300 poems then goes to a guest editor for review, and that guest editor selects the final fifty poems for the book.

2021 Timeline

March 23 Nominations from programs and magazines begin
April 16 Program and magazine nominations close
April 19 Open Competition begins
June 4 Open Competition ends
September 15 Fifty final selections announced

Jeb Livingood will continue as series editor in 2021. Our 2021 guest editor is Kaveh Akbar.

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