Ends on July 1, 2019

$20.00 USD

The BLR Prizes award outstanding writing related to themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body.  

Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry ~ Judged by DéLana R.A. Dameron

DéLana R.A. Dameron’s second collection of poems Weary Kingdom (2017) is part of the University of South Carolina Palmetto Poetry Series, edited by Nikky Finney. Dameron’s debut collection How God Ends Us (2009) was selected by Elizabeth Alexander for the 2008 South Carolina Poetry Book Prize. She has conducted readings, workshops and lectures all across the United States, Central America and Europe. Dameron holds a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from New York University where she was a Goldwater Hospital Writer’s workshop fellow. Dameron has had essays, interviews, and poems published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Critical Flame, BUZZFEED, ARTS.BLACK, Storyscape Journal, The Rumpus, Epiphany Magazine, the Tidal Basin Review, African American Review, The New Sound Journal, among others. Most recently, Dameron was named the 2018 Summer Poet in Residence at University of Mississippi, Oxford.


  • Deadline: July 1, 2019

  • First prize is $1,000 (in each genre) and publication in the Spring 2020 issue of BLR.  
    Honorable mention winners will receive $250 and publication in the Spring 2020 issue of BLR.

  • Poetry:  We encourage poems that are accessible to a wide audience. Characteristics we look for are vivid writing, strong narrative, and rendering the familiar new. We encourage you to peruse back issues in our archive to get a sense of our ethos. Please submit no more than three poems. Each poem should be on a separate page within a single document.  

  • Do not put your name on the manuscript document (or in the filename). Manuscripts are read blindly by reviewers, editors, and judges.

  • Work previously published in print or electronically will not be considered. For the BLR,  “published work” means published in print in North America, or  published on the Internet in electronic journals, e-zines, academic  websites, and other “public” or “official” websites. Works posted on  personal blogs or websites will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  We ask that authors be honest about web postings. (If a work is  discovered to have been posted or published elsewhere—and not openly  acknowledged by the author in advance—we will remove it from  consideration.)

  • Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but we ask that you notify  us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.  We regret that there  can be no refunds or substitutions for withdrawn work.

  • All contest entries will also be considered for regular publication.

  • Students/friends/colleagues/relations of a judge are not permitted to enter submissions to that judge's genre.

  • BLR acquires first-time North American rights, and the right  to reprint in anthologies.  After publication, all other rights revert  to the author and the work may be reprinted as long as appropriate  acknowledgement to BLR is made.

We encourage you to read BLR before you submit.  Samples from each issue are available in our online archive.