UA Undergraduate Poetry Contests


The UA Undergrad Poetry Contests are open to all full-time University of Arizona undergraduate students. The UA Undergrad Poetry Contests feature two separate named awards, with four cash prizes conferred annually: 

  • Three Hattie Lockett Awards in the amount of $300 each
  • One Margaret Sterling Award in the amount of $200

Contest Eligibility

UA Undergrad Poetry Contests are open to undergraduate students who are enrolled full-time at the University of Arizona at the time of the contest. Contestants submit one manuscript for consideration for both prizes.  Beginning in 2019, the awards will be administered in partnership with the University of Arizona Creative Writing program.  Submissions open by announcement of the Creative Writing program. For more information contact Creative Writing Program Director Kate Bernheimer:, with the subject heading “2023 Undergraduate Poetry Awards.”

Submissions for the 2023 award close on April 15th at midnight, and winners will be announced May 1st.  The contest will be adjudicated by current MFA students.  Winning poems will be published online at the Sonora Review and recognized at the Department of English Award Ceremony. 


  • Submit to the Google form following the below instructions (please read thoroughly before beginning the form)
  • The form requests your name, major, contact email address, and the poetry as a single attachment (see below for attachment instructions)
  • The attachment should be a single file of 1-5 pages of unpublished poetry or the equivalent. This can be one longer piece, or a combination of shorter pieces. Individual prose poetry pieces should be under 500 words. Multimedia pieces should be no longer than 5 minutes. Do not put your name anywhere on the packet. Title the packet after the first poem (if your first poem is untitled, use the first line of the poem as the title)

Winning prize money will be posted to students' Bursar's Account. Students are asked to please clear up any charges on their Bursar's account to ensure that they receive their full award. 

Academy of American Poets Award Winners (Offered through the UA MFA program beginning in 2020). 

  • 2023: Jo Blair Cipriano (selected by Gabriel Dozal)
  • 2022:  Geramee Hensley (selected by Mathias Svalina)
  • 2021 (Fall): Geramee Hensley
  • 2021 (Spring): Logan Phillips
  • 2020: Marianna ColesCurtis (selected by Tongo Eisen-Martin)
  • 2019: Laura Esposto (selected by Robert Ostrom)
  • 2018: Gabriel Oladipo (selected by Kristi Maxwell)
  • 2017: Claire McLane (selected by Maggie Smith)
  • 2016: Taneum Bambrick (selected by TC Tolbert)
  • 2015: Nick Greer (selected by Wendy S. Walters)
  • 2014: Jarrett Eakins (selected by Timothy Liu)
  • 2013: Meg Wade
  • 2012: Melissa Goodrich
  • 2011: Sean Rys
  • 2010: Madison Bertenshaw
  • 2009: Drew Krewer
  • 2008: Drew Krewer
  • 2007: Matt Rotando
  • 2006: Laura Maher
  • 2005: Dawn Pendergast

    Hattie Lockett Award Winners

    • 2023: Isabella Santoni, Mila Tomizuka, Rebecca Crager (selected by Geramee Hensley)
    • 2022: Adria Holiday, Heather Jensen, Zoey Plytas (selected by Mathias Svalina)
    • 2021 (Fall): Zoey Plytas, Kris Kennon, Christopher Valenzuela
    • 2021 (Spring): Denise Dudoit, Paola Valenzuela, Emily Allerton
    • 2020:  Mikayla Kaber, Mackenzie Parker, Kevin Sanchez 
    • 2018: Isabella Rosales, Jack Hereford, Onna Begay (selected by Felicia Zamora) 
    • 2017: Connor Oswald, Sophie Daws, Gabriel Oladipo
    • 2015: Gabriel Palacios, Dana Pattison, Sheila Dong
    • 2014: Sally McCallum, Mason Gates, Richard Leis (selected by Karen Brennan)
    • 2013: Paul Thomson, Katarina Lee, Daniel Marks
    • 2012: Mika Jankowski, Ryan Mills, Morgan Shnier
    • 2011: Christy Delehanty, Joe Loeffler, Cameron Louie
    • 2010: Madison Bertenshaw, Katherine LaRue, Housten Owen Donham
    • 2009: Hallie Havican, Brett Larson, Julie Swarstad
    • 2008: Julieann Paladin Dela Cruz, Andrew Shuta, Chelsea Hodson
    • 2007: Kellie Davies, Jacob Levine, Lauren Harrison
    • 2006: Brandon Kreitler, Claire Shefchik, Marianne Go
    • 2005: Marina Kaganova, James Garza, Emily Stuart

    Margaret Sterling Memorial Award Winners

    • 2023: Bella Whitley (selected by Geramee Hensley)
    • 2022: Sammy Cibulka (selected by Mathias Svalina)
    • 2021 (Fall): Courtney Armstrong
    • 2021 (Spring): Misha Tentser
    • 2020: Arielle Devorah
    • 2019: Gabriel Palacios, Lee Anne Gallway-Mitchell (selected by Robert Ostrom)
    • 2018: Amanda Corono, John He (selected by Kristi Maxwell)
    • 2017: Peyton Prater Stark, Michelle Repke (selected by Maggie Smith)
    • 2016: Thomas Dai, Charlie d'Eve (selected by TC Tolbert)
    • 2015: Sally McCallum, Matthew Schmidt (selected by Wendy S. Walters)
    • 2014: Sylvia Chan, Jessica Jenkins (selected by Timothy Liu)
    • 2013: Hannah Ensor, Melissa Goodrich
    • 2012: Blake Whalen-Encalarde, Kelly Scherwitzki
    • 2011: Erin Armstrong, Whitney DeVos
    • 2010: Christopher Nelson, Sean Rys
    • 2009: Chelsea Hodson
    • 2008: Christine Bell, Shloka Mangharam
    • 2007: Marina Kaganova, Shelly Taylor
    • 2006: Arianne Zwartjes, Claire L. Shefchik
    • 2005: Kristi Maxwell, Anna Fulford

    Poetry Center Award Winners

    • 2019: Kou Sugita, Kevin Mosby (selected by Robert Ostrom)
    • 2018: Sierra Lindsay, Connor Oswald (selected by Kristi Maxwell) 
    • 2017: Thomas Dai, Charlie d'Eve (selected by Maggie Smith)
    • 2016: Jos Charles, Claire Meuschke (selected by TC Tolbert)
    • 2015: Liam Swanson, Brianna Sheaffer (selected by Wendy S. Walters)
    • 2014: Jake Syersak, Mason Gates (selected by Timothy Liu)
    • 2013: Cory Aaland, Jessica Jenkins
    • 2012: Emelia Reuterfors, Jordan Young
    • 2011: Sean F. Munro, David Campbell
    • 2010: Andrew Shuta, Sarah Kortemeier
    • 2009: Zach Buscher, Meagan Lehr
    • 2008: Rachel Springer, Joseph Mains
    • 2007: Lauren Eggert-Crowe, Arianne Zwartjes
    • 2006: Marty Hebrank
    • 2005: Molly Cooney, Marty Hebrank