book prizes

The OTTOLINE PRIZE—named for Lady Ottoline Violet Anne Morrell (1873–1938), beloved undersung patron of the Bloomsbury Group—awards publication and a cash prize to a book of poems by a woman writing in English who has previously published one or more books of poetry. The Ottoline Prize existed in previous incarnations as the Motherwell Prize, and the Albert Prize before that. See list of past recipients below.

The DEADLINE for the 2017 Ottoline Prize has come and gone. Please stay tuned to the future. 


Fence is proud to announce that Hoa Nguyen has chosen Wendy Xu’s Phrasis as winner of the 2016 Ottoline Prize. Phrasis will be published in 2017 by Fence Books, and Xu will also be the recipient of a $5000 cash prize.

Born in Shandong, China, in 1987, Wendy Xu is the author of You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State University, 2013), and the recent chapbook Naturalism (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2015). Her poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Boston ReviewPoetryjubilatGulf CoastHyperallergic, and elsewhere. She was awarded the Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry in 2011, and a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation in 2014. She lives and teaches writing in New York City. Visit Wendy Xu on Tumblr and Twitter.


Winners of the Ottoline Prize:

Wendy Xu (2016)
Stacy Szymaszek (2015)
Lauren Shufran (2013)

Winners of the Motherwell Prize:

Lauren Shufran (2013)
Harmony Holiday (2011)
Josie Sigle
r (2010) 
Elizabeth Marie Young (2009)
Kaisa Ullsvik Miller (2008)

Winners of the Alberta Prize

Ariana Reines (2006)
Laura Sims (2005)
Sasha Steensen (2004)
Rosemary Griggs (2003)
Tina Brown Celona (2002)
Chelsey Minnis (2001)

 Lady Ottoline Morrell, by Cecil Beaton (1927) © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby’s London