About The Backwaters Press

Founded in 1997, the Backwaters Press has published award-winning books by some of America’s finest writers. The University of Nebraska Press acquired the Backwaters Press in 2018. As a general interest imprint of UNP, the Backwaters Press continues to delight readers with creative literature of enduring value and consequence and an impressive backlist in poetry and prose that contributes to the cultural significance and preservation of diverse social groups and societies across the world.

The Backwaters Prize in Poetry, an international poetry book competition, was initiated in 1998 and continues under the auspices of UNP. The annual Prize builds upon an impressive backlist in poetry and creative prose. Each year one poetry manuscript is selected as an overall winner, and one poetry manuscript is selected as an honorable mention, by a committee of preliminary judges and one final judge for inclusion in this series. Contest winners are chosen by distinguished American poets; past judges include Hayden Carruth (winner of the National Book Award and the National Book Circle Critics Award), Philip Levine (National Book Award winner and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize), and Ted Kooser (Poet Laureate of the United States and Pulitzer Prize winner). Both the selected winner and honorable mention are published by the University of Nebraska Press.

Visit the Backwaters Prize in Poetry page for more information and a link to make an electronic submission.

Join our mailing list to receive updates about the prize competition and the Backwaters Press.

Featured Books