Announcing the #DignityNotDetention Poetry Prize

Co-sponsored by Detainee Allies and Poetry@Tech, with support by Poetry International.  

  • One prize of $500 and publication in Poetry International online will be given for a single poem written for refugees currently being detained pending their hearings. (A similar prize will be offered to refugee poets in U.S. detention centers.)
  • Ilya Kaminsky will judge.
  • Using the online submission system, submit your best poem up to 1,000 words with a $10 entry fee by September 30.
  • Entry fees will be used to fund the prize, and any money leftover will be delivered directly to the refugees’ canteens for their personal use (for purchase of such essentials as food and phone time).
  • All entries are considered for publication. Additionally, all suitable poems (not just the winners) will be published and/or distributed to detainees at Otay Mesa detention center in Otay Mesa, California, and possibly to other centers nationwide.
  • We encourage poets to explore Detainee Allies to learn more about the refugees and their living situations.

Winners will be announced in October 2019.