The Walt Whitman Award, sponsored by The Academy of American Poets, brings first-book publication, a cash prize of $5,000, and a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center to an American who has never before published a book of poetry. The winning manuscript, chosen by an eminent poet, is published by Louisiana State University Press. The Academy purchases more than 8,000 copies of the book for distribution to its members. The Award was established in 1975 to encourage the work of emerging poets and to enable the publication of a poet's first book.


2003 Tony Tost Invisible Bride
2002 Sue Kwock Kim Notes from the Divided Country
2001 John Canaday The Invisible World
2000 Ben Doyle Radio, Radio
1999 Judy Jordan Carolina Ghost Woods
1998 Jan Heller Levi Once I Gazed at You in Wonder
1997 Barbara Ras Bite Every Sorrow
1996 Joshua Clover Madonna anno domini
1995 Nicole Cooley Resurrection
1994 Jan Richman Because the Brain Can be Talked into Anything
1993 Alison Hawthorne Deming Science and Other Poems
1992 Stephen Yenser The Fire in All Things
1991 Greg Glazner From the Iron Chair
1990 Elaine Terranova The Cult of the Right Hand
1989 Martha Hollander The Game of Statues
1988 April Bernard Blackbird Bye Bye
1987 Judith Baumel The weight of Numbers
1986 Chris Llewellyn Fragments from the Fire
1985 Christianne Balk Blindweed
1984 Eric Pankey For the New Year
1983 Christopher Gilbert Across the Mutual Landscape
1982 Anthony Petrosky Jurgis Petraskas
1981 Alberto Rios Whispering to Fool the Wind
1980 Jared Carter Work, for the Night is Coming
1979 David Bottoms Shooting Rats at the Bibb County
1978 Karen Snow Wonders
1977 Lauren Shakely Guilty Bystander
1976 Laura Gilpin The Hocus-Pocus of the Universe
1975 Reg Saner Climbing into the Roots