Celebrating the Younger Poets Centenary


The Yale Younger Poets prize is the oldest annual literary award in the United States. Its winners include some of the most influential voices in American poetry, including Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, Margaret Walker, Carolyn Forché, and Robert Hass.

In celebration of the prize’s one-hundredth anniversary, we are pleased to announce the publication of Firsts: A Century of Yale Younger Poets, edited by Carl Phillips.

This collection presents three selections from each Younger Poets volume. It serves as both a testament to the enduring power and significance of poetic expression and an exploration of the ways poetry has evolved over the past century. In addition to judiciously assembling this wide-ranging anthology, Carl Phillips provides an introduction to the history and impact of the Yale Younger Poets prize and its winners within the wider context of American poetry, including the evolving roles of race, gender, and sexual orientation.

The Year of Blue Water book image

The Year of Blue Water

2018 winner, now available for purchase


Yanyi

Yanyi’s arresting and straightforward poems weave experiences of immigration as a Chinese American, of racism, of mental wellness, and of gender from a queer and trans perspective.

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History of the Prize


The Yale Series of Younger Poets champions the most promising new American poets. Awarded since 1919, the Yale Younger Poets prize is the oldest annual literary award in the United States. Past winners include Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, William Meredith, W.S. Merwin, John Ashbery, John Hollander, James Tate, and Carolyn Forché. Louise Glück was the judge of the Series from 2003-2010, and Carl Phillips is the current judge.

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