The Contemporary American Poetry Prize Contest

Poems for Poetry Cram Volume 13, a chapbook to be released free to the public at the Chicago Public Library Poetry Fest on Saturday, April 28, 2012, will be selected from the entries into the Contemporary American Poetry Prize contest. That's right, all entries into the CAPP Contest will receive free entry for consideration into the Poetry Cram Volume 13 Chicago Poetry Contest.

The Grand Prize for the CAPP Award now stands at $132. Remember, the prize money goes UP with every submission into the contest. There is only about a month left to enter. How high will the prize go?

Welcome to the inaugural round of the Contemporary American Poetry Prize sponsored by The CAPP Award offers substantial cash prizes for the best contemporary poetry of any style and is open to all poets living in the United States.


The Contemporary American Poetry Prize Contest offers a Grand Prize, a Silver Prize and a Bronze Prize, as well as three Honorable Mentions.


The CAPP Contest offers a Grand Prize in the form of a cash award of 40% of all entry fee donations collected during the submission period*. There is no ceiling to the CAPP Grand Prize. The more poets who enter the CAPP Contest, the higher the Grand Prize grows.

The Silver Prize winner will receive 10% of all entry donations.

The Bronze Prize winner will receive 5% of all entry donations.

(Example of prize amounts: if at the end of the contest all entry donations add up to $2000, then the Grand Prize will be $800, the Silver Prize will be $200, and the Bronze Prize will be $100. In order to keep the prize amount transparent, a complete list of participating authors and poems submitted will be made available at the end of the contest.)

There will also be Three Honorable Mentions.

All winners, honorable mentions as well as a number of runners-up, will be published in Poetry Cram Volume 13, to be given away FREE at the Chicago Public Library Poetry Fest at Harold Washington Library in Chicago on Saturday, April 28, 2012. Winning poems and honorable mentions will also be permanently published at and at for thousands of people to read.


--All poems entered into the Contemporary American Poetry Prize Contest must be the original work of the author submitting them. Copyright reverts back to the author after publication.

--Poems should be primarily in the English language. Beyond that, all style, form and subject matter will be accepted.

--Both short and long poems will be accepted but poems should not exceed 150 lines.

--Previously published poems and simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Once your poems are submitted, however, they cannot be withdrawn from the contest, so it is up to you to inform other publications or contests that may be concerned about simultaneous submissions or republishing.

--You may submit up to three poems into the inaugural 2012 CAPP Contest. Entry donation for your first poem is $15. Entry donation for your second poem is $10 ($25 total for two poems). Entry donation for your third poem is $5 ($30 total for three poems).

--*Submission period is November 1, 2011 through March 1, 2012.

--Winners will be announced on or before April 1, 2012.


Judge. The final decision regarding the Three Winners and Three Honorable Mentions will be determined by this year's judge, Charlie Rossiter.

Charlie Rossiter, host of the audio website, is an NEA Fellowship recipient and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. He is the author of four books of poetry and numerous chapbooks, including The Night We Danced With the Raelettes and All Over America: Road Poems (FootHills Publications, 2009), which is based on 60,000+ miles or road trip experiences throughout U.S. and Canada. He is also the co-author of the book Back Beat, of which Lawrence Ferlinghetti said: "Back Beat beats everything for being beater than the Beats." Rossiter's poetry has also been featured on National Public Radio, the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in New Jersey as well as at the Chicago Blues Festival. He is the book review editor for the Journal of Poetry Therapy and he has led poetry workshops all over the country. is proud to have Mr. Rossiter serve as the judge for the inaugural Contemporary American Poetry Prize.

Sponsor. and the Contemporary American Poetry Prize is sponsored by CJ Laity, twelve year veteran publisher of, curator of the Poetry Cram Magazine contest and twenty year host of poetry events and festivals for such distinguished venues as the Chicago Public Library, the Poetry Foundation's Printers Ball and the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Book Fair.


Step 1. Make the appropriate entry donation through PayPal.

You may enter up to three poems into the CAPP Contest.

The CAPP Contest accepts submissions electronically. To enter the CAPP Contest, use one of the links below to make the proper entry donation through PayPal. If you do not have a PayPal account, you can still use PayPal to make your donation with a debit card, credit card or personal check. Entry donations will be processed by, on behalf of its subsidiary Please make your donation now . . .

CLICK HERE if you are submitting one poem into the CAPP Contest.

CLICK HERE if you are submitting two poems into the CAPP Contest.

CLICK HERE if you are submitting three poems into the CAPP Contest.

Step 2. Submit your poetry by email.

Create a text document (.doc, .wps, .rtf) and place your poem(s) in it. Do not put your name or contact information on the page(s) with your poem(s). Instead, include a short cover letter with your name, your address, your email address, your phone number (optional), and the title(s) of your submitted poem(s). You may include a short personal biography that may be used when the winners are announced, but your name and biography will not be forwarded to the judge. This is a process called blind judging and guarantees that all submissions will be treated equally.

After making the proper entry donation, email your submission to with a single attachment that includes both your poetry entries and your cover letter.

That's it. It's as easy as that.

Deadline is March 1, 2012. Winners will be announced on or before April 1, 2012. Current Grand Prize amount will be posted and updated as submissions are received.

May the best poetry win!

CJ Laity
CAPP Contest Sponsor