Orange/red square "tie dyed" look. With graphic of cardinal. Text reads: Congratulations to our finalists for the Cardinal Poetry Prize / Wesleyan University Press / Winner to be announced June 1st. Learn more at

Cardinal Poetry Prize Finalists Announced

Announcing the finalists for the inaugural Cardinal Poetry Prize

We are excited to announce that out of 428 submissions, we have selected fifteen finalists for the inaugural Cardinal Poetry Prize.

These finalists will be reviewed by Robert Pinsky and the winner announced in June of 2024.

Congratulations to all the finalists and thank you to everyone who submitted! We truly enjoyed reading all of your manuscripts.

The finalists are:

  • The Gathering by Sherah Bloor
  • Retrovirology by John Bonanni
  • The Day Brings Itself by Zoey Brookshire
  • Burial Fragments by Keith Ekiss
  • For Once: Six Cygnets by Christiane Jacox
  • Once is Not Enough by Hyejung Kook
  • For As Long As We Can by K T Landon
  • Dramedy by Diana Keren Lee
  • Half Ajar, Half Agape by Amy Meckler
  • Lessons in Cuban Cosmology: Fifty-Two Poems & a Villanelle by Elizabeth Perez
  • North of No Destination by Daniel Pritchard
  • Undaughtering by Jody Rambo
  • Blessed by Kenyatta Rogers
  • Strange and Constant by Max Schleicher
  • Five-Paragraph Essay on the Body-Mind Problem by Rachel Trousdale

About the Prize

The Cardinal Poetry Prize was conceived by John Murillo, poet and Associate Professor of English at Wesleyan University, as a unique opportunity for serious poets who have taken their time and decided not to rush publication, for the studious, rigorous, midnight oil burning, patient ones who are finally satisfied that they have something worthy of readers. The winner will be selected by the guest judge following an initial screening process conducted by coeditors Murillo and Suzanna Tamminen (Director and Editor-in-Chief, Wesleyan University Press), and Oliver Egger (Editorial Assistant, Wesleyan University Press.)

About Robert Pinsky

Rectangular (veritical) photo of Robert Pinsky. Pinksy is a distinguished older gentleman. He wears a black shirt and jacket. (Photograph Courtesy of Eric Antoniou)
Courtesy of Eric Antoniou.

Robert Pinsky grew up in Long Branch, NJ, an historic seashore resort described in his recent autobiography Jersey Breaks. His most recent book of poetry is At the Foundling Hospital, with a new book of poems, Proverbs of Limbo, appearing next year. His PoemJazz album of the same title— Proverbs of Limbo— with musicians including Laurence Hobgood and Mino Cinélu, is available on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.

Other works include the best-selling translation The Inferno of Dante and The Life of David, on the Biblical figure. Previous books of poetry include his Selected Poems and Gulf Music

His honors include the Korean Manhae Award, the Italian Premio Capri and the Harold Washington Award of the City of Chicago. He has honorary degrees from institutions including Stanford University, The New School, and the University of Michigan.

Robert Pinsky’s first two terms as United States Poet Laureate met such enthusiastic national response that he was appointed to an unprecedented third term. As Laureate, Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project, in which thousands of American readers, of varying backgrounds, ages, and regions, read their favorite poems. The videos at show that poetry has a vigorous presence in American culture. 

Pinsky is a William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor at Boston University. He is the only member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters to have appeared on The Colbert Report and The Simpsons.

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