Audre Lorde – A self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” Audre Lorde dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing the injustices of racism, sexism, and homophobia. Her poetry, and “indeed all of her writing,” according to Poets & Writers contributor Joan Martin in Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation, “rings with passion, sincerity, perception, and depth of feeling.” Fighting a battle with cancer that she documented in her highly acclaimedCancer Journals (1980), Lorde died of the illness in 1992.

Frank O’Hara – Frank O’Hara was a dynamic leader of the “New York School” of poets, a group that included John Ashbery, Barbara Guest, Kenneth Koch, and James Schuyler. The Abstract Expressionist painters in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s used the title, but the poets borrowed it. From the beginning O’Hara’s poetry was engaged with the worlds of music, dance, and painting.

In that complex of associations he devised an idea of poetic form that allowed the inclusion of many kinds of events, including everyday conversations and notes about New York advertising signs. Since his death in 1966 at age forty, the depth and richness of his achievements as a poet and art critic have been recognized by an international audience. As the painter Alex Katz remarked, “Frank’s business was being an active intellectual.” He was that. His articulate intelligence made new proposals for poetic form possible in American poetry.

On July 25, 1966, while vacationing on Fire Island, Frank O’Hara was killed in a sand buggy accident. He was forty years old.

The Audre Lorde & Frank O’Hara Prize for Poetry is a competition established by The Literary Preserve. The competition is open to poets for a manuscript of original poetry in English. The winner receives $1000, and publication and distribution of the winning manuscript by Oia Arts Press, an imprint of The LGBTQ Literary Preserve. The winning poet also receives 25 free author copies of the book.


  • April 17 to July 17 (postmark) each year
  • Submit via our Submittable  page
  • Reading fee for each manuscript is $30
  • Manuscripts must be 48-80 pages, excluding front matter. They may be single- or double-spaced.
  • Seeking poetry from any person identifying as LGBTQ.
  • Do not put your name on your manuscript. Be sure to include the title of your manuscript in your cover page, as well as your name, address, email address, and phone number.
  • The LGBTQ Literary Preserve accepts submissions and payment of the entry fee ($30) exclusively through our online submission manager,Submittable. We are not able to accept submissions via email or postal mail.
  • Finalists and winner are announced in the fall.


Poems previously published in journals and anthologies should be accompanied by an acknowledgments page. Authors may submit multiple manuscripts; each will require a reading fee. Previously submitted manuscripts and manuscripts under consideration by other publishers are also eligible.Please notify us as soon as possible, should your manuscript be accepted by another press.

Contest results are published in Poets & WritersThe Writers’ ChronicleNew Pages, and other national magazines. The winning book is published about one year after its selection.

2015 Judge – David Kirby


Leave a Reply

Please fill the required box or you can’t comment at all. Please use kind words. Your e-mail address will not be published.

Gravatar is supported.

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>