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The Annual Morton Marcus
Poetry PRIZE

The annual Morton Marcus Poetry Prize is held in honor of the memory and work of Morton Marcus, whose life and work inspired thousands through his infectious belief in community, dedication to the work of poetry, and support of the arts.



In 2012, the year of the 3rd Annual Morton Marcus Memorial Poetry Reading, phren-Z online literary magazine and George Ow, Jr. and Ow Family Properties, started the annual Morton Marcus Poetry Prize.

The first contest was judged by California Poet Laureate Al Young and awarded to David Allen Sullivan for his poem, "Take Wing."  Sullivan read his winning poem at the poetry reading that year, which featured Arthur Sze.


  • The contest is open to all poets around the world who are over 18 years old.

  • The winner receives $1,000 and is invited to read their awarded work at the Annual Poetry Reading of the same year. 

  • Submissions for the contest open annually on April 1 and  close on September 1.

  • $15 entry fee.

  • 2024 submission guidelines coming soon.



2022: Jeremy Ra


2021: Alison Luterman


2020: Leona Sevick, "The Heifer"


2019: Paola Bruni, "Limoncini"


2018: Veronica Kornberg, "Stealing Mulberries"

2017: Elizabeth Dutton, "Native Daughter of the Golden West"

2016: Nicholas Tolkien, "The Taxidermist's Daughter"

2015: Alexandra Barylski, "A Letter"

2014: Marsha De La O, "The Beautiful World"

2013: Danusha Lameris, "Riding Bareback"

2012: David Allen Sullivan, "Take Wing"


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