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Dawn Prize for Poetry
Submissions now CLOSED!

First place winner: "Sanctuary with the Burning Self" by Muhammed Olowonjoyin 

Congratulations to Muhammed Olowonjoyin for winning first place out of over 500 submissions! Muhammed will receive a $100 cash prize, and his work will be published in the third issue of The Dawn Review. Here's what our guest judge, Sarah Ghazal Ali, has to say about his poem: 

I mirror, I oasis, I elegance—this poem phoenixes the self line after line, propelled—or perhaps compelled— by the body and mind’s inescapable cycle of transformation. Here is a speaker honest about his own unknowing, who longs to make sense of what he is, isn’t, and could still be. A beautiful and electric poem from start to finish. 

Runner-up: "Memory: Nonlinear" by Ivi Hua

Ivi Hua is our runner up! She will receive a $25 cash prize, and her work will also be published in the third issue of The Dawn Review. Here's what our guest judge, Sarah Ghazal Ali, has to say about her poem: 

I love this poem for its expansiveness, and its use of a layered, nonlinear form to explore the many rooms and passageways through one’s faulty, earnest, and intense recollections. The poem is devastating and tender and honest—what else could one ask for in a poem that orbits the wreckage of heartbreak? 

2023 Shortlist:

"Cassiopeia" by Fiona Jin

"frankenstein’s monster gets dressed, crying:" by Avery Yoder-Wells

"Aubade" by MJ Gomez

"Little Heart 小心" by Edward Gunawan

"Sanctuary with the Burning Self" by Muhammed Olowonjoyin
"Memory: Nonlinear" by Ivi Hua

Guest judge: Sarah Ghazal Ali

Sarah Ghazal Ali is the author of Theophanies, selected as the Editors' Choice for the 2022 Alice James Award, and forthcoming with Alice James Books in January 2024. A 2022 Djanikian Scholar, her poems appear in POETRY, American Poetry Review, Pleiades,  Rumpus, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She has received support from Community of Writers, the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Hambidge Center, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the editor of Palette Poetry and lives in Lewisburg, PA where she is a Stadler Fellow at Bucknell University and poetry editor for West Branch. 

About the contest:

The Dawn Prize for poetry is our new annual contest for emerging writers! Our editors will read all submissions and compile a shortlist by April 20th, and our guest judge will select the final winners by May 1st. 


You are eligible to submit if you have published less than two books of poetry (not including self published books).  

Between February 1st and March 31st, please submit up to 5 poems in the form below. If you are unable to convert your poems to a google document, you may also attach them in an email to with your name and the word "contest" in the subject line. All forms and subject matters are welcome, including prose poetry, visual poetry, and experimental poetry. 


Simultaneous submissions are welcome. Please only submit poems that have not been previously published. If your poem is accepted elsewhere, please let us know immediately. If you would like to be considered for publication or receive feedback on your work, you may also submit through our           


The winning poet will receive $100, editorial praise from our guest judge, and guaranteed publication. The runner up will receive $25, editorial praise from our guest judge, and guaranteed publication. All poets on the shortlist will receive a featured spot on our website and social media platforms.

Submit Here

Thanks for submitting! We look forward to reviewing your work.

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