book prizes

The Fence Modern Poets Series is open to poets of any gender and at any stage in their publishing career. The prize is $1,000 and publication by Fence Books.

The 2017 Fence Modern Poets Series will be open for submissions during the month of March, 2016. A prize of $1,000 and publication by Fence Books will be given. Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 48 to 80 pages with your $29 entry fee, which includes a subscription to Fence. 

You may submit your manuscript here (during the month of March).


The winner of the 2015 Fence Modern Poets Series Prize is SOLAR, by KEVIN HOLDEN, selected by Katy Lederer, Fence editor emeritus. Solar is forthcoming from Fence in 2015.

KEVIN HOLDEN is mostly from Rhode Island and at present lives mostly in Connecticut. He is the author of two chapbooks, Identity (Cannibal Books) and Alpine (White Queen Press). His poetry has appeared in such places as Conjunctions, 1913, jubilat, Harp & Altar, Colorado Review, Typo, Forklift OH, and Little Red Leaves, and was included in the recent anthology The Arcadia Project (Ahsahta Press). He translates poetry from Russian and French, and that work has been published in Aufgabe, Double Change, and other journals. He is an activist, an amateur geometer, and cares a great deal about trees. He received an MFA from Iowa in 2008 and is currently working on a PhD in comparative literature at Yale.

READ KEVIN’S POEMS in TYPO 17, TYPO 12, Harp & Altar, Little Red Leaves, and notnostrums.


PAST WINNERS & JUDGES (where applicable)

Jennifer MacKenzie, My Not-My Soldier (2014)
Lee Ann Brown, In the Laurels, Caught (2012)
Donald Dunbar, Eyelid Lick (2012)
Paul Legault, The Other Poems (2011)
Nick Demske, Nick Demske (2010, Joyelle McSweeney)
MacGregor Card, Duties of an English Foreign Secretary (2009, Martin Corless-Smith)
James Shea, Star in the Eye (2008, Nick Flynn)
Christopher Janke, Structure of the Embryonic Rat Brain (2007)
Daniel Brenner, The Stupefying Flashbulbs (2006)
Geraldine Kim, Povel (2005, Forrest Gander)
Prageeta Sharma, The Opening Question (2004)
Elizabeth Robinson, Apprehend (2003, Ann Lauterbach) 
Joyelle McSweeney, The Red Bird (2002, Allen Grossman)