Poets & Writers, Inc. is the largest nonprofit literary organization in the United States serving poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. The organization publishes a bi-monthly magazine called Poets & Writers, and is headquartered in New York City.


In 1970, the director of New York’s famed 92nd Street YM-YWHA Poetry Center, Galen Williams, leveraged seed money from the New York State Council on the Arts to launch a new organization for writers that would provide them with fees for giving readings and teaching workshops. The organization began in an apartment on the fringe of the theater district. Since that time, Poets & Writers has grown into the one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the country for writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, Poets & Writers cultivated new sources of revenue, enabling the organization to expand its programs and publications. Award-winning editorial and design changes elevated Poets & Writers Magazine to new subscription and advertising levels. The organization’s Readings/Workshops program was offered in new regions across the country, connecting writers and audiences in California, Chicago and Detroit, in addition to New York State, where the program began. And the Writers Exchange program, which would introduce writers to the New York literary community, was initiated.

In 2006, Poets & Writers successfully completed its first capital campaign, raising $3 million and establishing an endowment to bring the Readings/Workshops program to six new cities: Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans, Seattle, Tucson, and Washington, D.C.

Poets & Writers Magazine Edit

Poets & Writers Magazine is a widely distributed bi-monthly magazine. The publication features literary-based news articles, critical reviews and interviews with prominent authors. The magazine has conducted interviews with writers such as John Updike, Toni Morrison, Jhumpa Lahiri, Robert Creeley, Philip Levine and Augusten Burroughs among others.[1][2][3][4][5]

Poets & Writers Magazine also serves as a resource for thousands of writers, with up-to-date information on literary grants and awards, literary magazines, presses, jobs, author directories and literary events. It's been called the "must-have journal for scribes."[6]

Prizes Sponsored by Poets & WritersEdit

Jackson Poetry PrizeEdit

The Jackson Poetry Prize, established in 2006, honors an American poet of exceptional talent who has published at least one book of recognized literary merit but has not yet received major national acclaim. The $50,000 prize is designed to provide what all poets need—time and the encouragement to write. There is no application process for the Jackson Poetry Prize—nominees are identified by a group of poets selected by Poets & Writers who remain anonymous; final selection is made by a panel of esteemed poets.

The 2008 Jackson Poetry Prize recipient is Tony Hoagland, who was selected by Philip Levine, Robert Pinsky, and Ellen Bryant Voigt.

The Maureen Egen Writers Exchange AwardEdit

Initiated in 1984, the Writers Exchange Award provides two emerging writers with an all-expenses-paid trip to New York where P&W arranges meetings with agents, editors, and prominent authors. The winners' visit culminates in a public reading in Manhattan.

Each year, two writers from one state are invited to submit manuscripts to Poets & Writers. To date, 76 writers from 30 states have received the Writers Exchange Award. Many of the winners have gone on to get their books published, receive other awards, and secure teaching positions. In 2007, a special grant enabled P&W to offer the Writers Exchange to two writers from California. Two writers from Missouri also received the Writers Exchange Award this year.

Writers who live in Tennessee are invited to apply for the 2009 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award.

The Amy AwardEdit

The Amy Award is presented to women poets age 30 and under living in the New York City metropolitan area or on Long Island. Winners receive an honorarium and a reading in New York City. The award was established by Paula Trachtman and Edward Butscher of East Hampton, New York in memory of Ms. Trachtman's daughter, Amy Rothholz, an actor and poet.

Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers AwardEdit

Established in 1996, the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, which is presented at P&W's annual dinner, recognizes authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community. Honorees are nominated by a committee composed of past winners, other prominent writers, and the Board of Directors of Poets & Writers. Title of the award has been given to Barnes & Noble in appreciation of their extraordinary support of Poets & Writers.

Notes Edit

External linksEdit


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