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Porlock's first issue showed that poetry journals can readily find multiple guest editors who aren't poets. The Robert Siegel Prize combines elements of The Best American Poems, The Pushcart Prize and The Forward Prizes but isn't confined to the US or to the UK and Ireland. Print and online magazines are invited to submit five poems published this year. Submissions will be initially divided among eight poets. Each could choose as many as six poems; 48 or fewer would be sent on to 15 lay judges who'd each select no more than five poems.

Judges and initial readers could choose no poems at all and would recuse themselves if they know a poet personally or are directly connected to a submitting journal. A poem that couldn't be initially appraised by one reader will be passed on to another. Judge recusals will be noted.

The submission period will run from January 1st to the end of February. Initial readers will choose poems over the next 30 days and judges will make their selections by May 1st. The prize page added to the Porlock website has links to the websites of readers and judges and will have links to the texts of selected poems. Poems will be ranked by how frequently they were chosen.

Robert Siegel was a poet, novelist and teacher. Everyone contributing to Porlock and the prize is unpaid. Prize anthologies utilizing the expertise of poets and the disinterested judgment of representative readers could be the best places to look for contemporary poetry and could persuasively confirm its value.


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