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Frontier Poetry’s Roots & Roads Prize

September 17, 2023, 11:59 PM PDT


Welcome to our inaugural Roots & Roads Prize! We look forward to reading your poems!

About the Prize

Not only are root systems vital for a tree to channel sustenance from the soil, but they are also communicators, connecting the plant to its environment and to other plants. Roads, too, are connectors, telling a story of movement and distances. This year, for our inaugural Roots & Roads Prize, Frontier Poetry invites you to imagine your poems as roots and roads, reaching both inward and outward.

We are in search of work that explores the tensions between these ideas, the relationships we have between origin and becoming, between our foundations and the possibilities that are sustained and/or troubled by them. We encourage you to interpret these words loosely and expansively, to let the poem take you where it wants. Bring us your ghosts, your maps, your homes, your alienations, your dreams of the future—lead us somewhere unexpected!

We’re thrilled to be able to award $3000 to our first place prize winner, $300 to second place, and $200 to third place.

About Our Judge 

Craig Santos Perez is an indigenous Chamoru poet from Guam. He is the author of six books of poetry and the co-editor of seven anthologies. He is a professor in the English department at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa, where he teaches Pacific literature, eco-poetry, and food writing.

A Note from Our Judge:

What people, memories, histories, or natural objects root you to place? What real or symbolic roads have you traveled? Have you ever felt uprooted? Have you been lost upon the road of life? These are some of the interrelated questions I hope poets will explore through the Roots & Roads Prize. I look forward to being taken on a journey deep and far into the human experience.



Submissions are open to emerging poets with no more than two full length collections published at the time of submission.

As part of our dedication to the pursuit of a more inclusive publishing world, there is a free submission window for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, person of color) poets at the beginning of the contest until our cap of fifty. Please note the portal will close when we hit our cap.

Do not include any identifying information in the body of your document.

Send up to three poems per submission, for a total of no more than five pages. We have no aesthetic or formal requirements and consider all styles of poetry.

Please submit unpublished poems only.

We welcome simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

You may submit multiple times, but each submission requires a separate $20 fee.

Please include a brief cover letter that includes a short, third-person bio with your publication history and any applicable content warnings.

Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English. Inclusion of other languages is welcome, as long as the poem is primarily written in English.

Please do not submit work if you have a personal relationship with the judge.

If you haven’t already, please verify your email address with Submittable for more consistent communication.

If you have any questions, please visit our FAQ page first. If you don’t find the answer to your question, you can send an email to contact (at) frontierpoetry (dot) com.


Editorial Feedback Option

This option costs $59 and will provide you with two pages of detailed and actionable feedback on a poem of your choice from your packet, including suggestions for future submissions. The $149 option will provide you with three letters from three different editors. Our guest editors are paid a significant portion of the fee and all are astute and professional poets.


Included Opportunities and Discounts

As a thank you for your support for Frontier, we’ve partnered with Alice James Books to offer a 25% discount code on any of their pre-order books! Go to to find amazing new work and use the code provided in your confirmation email during checkout.



September 17, 2023
11:59 PM PDT
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