Friday, June 26, 2015

The Glascock Poetry Prize is awarded to the winner of the annual Kathryn Irene Glascock Intercollegiate Poetry Contest at Mount Holyoke College. The "invitation-only competition is sponsored by the English department at Mount Holyoke and counts many well-known poets, including Sylvia Plath and James Merrill, among its past winners" [1] and is the "oldest intercollegiate poetry competition" [2].

The contest

Each year, about six young poets from the nation's top colleges and universities are selected to participate. After being selected, participants submit a brief manuscript of poems, which they read at a public reading during the culmination of the contest.


The annual Kathryn Irene Glascock Intercollegiate Poetry Contest is named after Kathryn Irene Glascock. Glascock was a young poet who graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1922.

Glascock died in 1923. Shortly after her death, Glascock's parents established the Glascock Prize. It became an intercollegiate event in 1924.

The Glascock Poetry Competition has launched the careers of many of America's most important poets including James Merrill who won in 1946 (and participated in 1938), Sylvia Plath who won in 1955, Kenneth Koch in 1948, Donald Hall who took second place in 1951 and Gjertrud Schnackenberg in 1973.

Other notable participants include Mark Halperin, Mary Jo Salter, Katha Pollitt, Mary Ann Radner, William Kunstler, James Agee and Frederick Buechner [3]

List of winners and participants

See main article: List of Glascock Prize winners and participants

Select judges

Glascock Prize
  • W. H. Auden
  • Elizabeth Bishop
  • Louise Bogan
  • Witter Bynner
  • John Ciardi
  • Billy Collins
  • Robert Frost
  • Anthony Hecht
  • Galway Kinnell
  • Kenneth Koch
  • Stanley Kunitz
  • Maxine Kumin
  • Denise Levertov
  • Audre Lorde
  • James Merrill
  • Marianne Moore
  • Howard Nemerov
  • Sylvia Plath
  • John Crowe Ransom
  • Adrienne Rich
  • May Sarton
  • Stephen Spender
  • John Updike
  • Peter Viereck
  • Derek Walcott
  • Richard Wilbur
  • William Carlos Williams


In 1973, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the contest, the English department of Mount Holyoke College published a collection of poems titled Preludes: Selected Poems from the Kathryn Irene Glascock Intercollegiate Poetry Contest 1924-1973.

The collection included selected works from the first 50 years of the competition such as "The Black Swan" by James Merrill [4].

External links

Glascock Prize
  • History of the Glascock
  • Glascock records
  • 75th Anniversary Celebration

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