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In celebration of 10 successful years of carrying out its mission of promoting reading, writing and theatre, the Center @ Miami Dade College partnered with The National Poetry Series to establish The Paz Prize for Poetry.

This annual award—named in the spirit of the late Nobel Prize-winning poet, Octavio Paz—will honor a previously unpublished book of poetry written originally in Spanish by an American resident. An open competition will be held each May, when an esteemed Spanish-speaking poet will select a winning manuscript. The book will be published in a bilingual edition by Akashic Press. The first winner will be published in October, 2013. The winning poet will also receive a $1000 cash prize.

Esteemed Puerto Rican American poet, Victor Hernández Cruz, will serve as the first judge of The Paz Prize for Poetry. The Advisory Board for the prize includes a number of notable authors, including Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros, Cristina García, Campbell McGrath, Pablo Medina, Gary Soto, Ilan Stavans, and Luisa Valenzuela.

The 2012 submission period for The Paz Prize for Poetry will be May 1–June 15. Complete guidelines are available below and at

“We are very pleased to partner with the National Poetry Series to sponsor The Paz Prize for Poetry. In our increasingly diverse nation, poetry in translation is not just desired, but necessary. . . it allows for shared experience across cultures and greater understanding, and for even more beauty in our world.”
— Alina Interian, Executive Director, The Center@MDC

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The Paz Prize for Poetry


Guidelines: The Center @ Miami Dade College will award one prize annually for the publication of a previously unpublished book of poetry originally written in Spanish by an American resident. The prize will recognize book-length manuscripts of poetry written in Spanish. Translations, works of literary criticism and scholarly texts do not qualify. 

The winner will be selected by an esteemed Spanish-speaking poet. The chosen book will be translated into English by an experienced translator, and will be published in a bilingual edition. 

The Spanish Prize will be administered through The National Poetry Series. Entrants should submit the following from May 1 – June 15 to The National Poetry Series, The Paz Prize for Poetry, 57 Mountain Avenue, Princeton, NJ 08540: 

1) A single-spaced copy of the manuscript. All manuscripts must be previously unpublished, although some or all of the individual poems may have appeared in periodicals. Chapbooks, small groups of poems, and books previously self-published are not eligible. Manuscript length is not limited. However, a length of approximately 48 pages is suggested. All manuscripts should be paginated and typed on one side of the page only.

2) Two cover sheets, both including the title of the manuscript, author's name, address, email, and phone number, along with a brief description of the work and biography of the author (200 words).

We regret that manuscripts cannot be returned. There will be no additions, deletions, or substitutions once a manuscript is submitted. Entrants should inform The National Poetry Series immediately if the manuscript is selected for publication elsewhere.

Finalists for the award will be notified in late July, and the winner will be announced in September. Information relating to the competition will be available and The winning poet will be given a chance to make final changes prior to publication.

For more information, please contact the Coordinator, The National Poetry Series, 57 Mountain Avenue, Princeton, NJ 08540. 
Phone:             609.430.0999      
Fax: 609.430.9933