Joe Bolton Poetry Award

Submissions are currently OPEN.

The Joe Bolton Poetry Award is an annual contest which awards $1000 and publication to a single poem or small group of poems in the Winter Issue of Twyckenham Notes.


The award is named in honor of the late poet, Joe Bolton, born December 3, 1961 in Cadiz, Kentucky. Bolton released two books of poetry: Breckinridge County Suite (The Cummington Press, 1987) and Days of Summer Gone (Galileo Press, 1990). After his death, The University of Arkansas Press released The Last Nostalgia, edited by Donald Justice. The book is still in print.

Joe Bolton. Photograph by Tonya Parsons.


  • All submissions will be handled through Submittable.
  • Please send up to 7 poems in a single .doc, .docx, or PDF document. The submission limit is 7 poems; any poems after the seventh will not be read.
  • Poems must be in English.
  • Please do not include any identifying information on the poems themselves. All work will be read blind.
  • Simultaneous submissions are okay. We will accept previously unpublished work only. This includes work that has appeared on personal blogs and websites.
  • Include a third person bio and previous publications in the cover letter box in Submittable.
  • Use a standard font.
  • Poets may submit multiple times, but must pay the submission fee each time.
  • All poems entered will automatically be considered for publication in future issues of Twyckenham Notes.

We are interested in poetry of all styles, but none in which the writer-reader connection is lost entirely. Edgy is good; so is heart. Clarity is good; so is mystery. We want kinetic poetry with lifeblood and plenty of momentum.

Upon publication, Twyckenham Notes acquires First North American Serial Rights, the right to archive your work online, use of promotional materials, and to reprint as part of an anthology. If your work is subsequently published elsewhere (in a book of poems or anthology), please mention that it first appeared here.


*Austin Veldman and Twyckenham Notes would like to thank all of those who made the naming of this award in Joe’s honor possible — especially Mike Bieker of the University of Arkansas Press, and Joe’s father Ed.