Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize

The next deadline is January 15, 2016.

The Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, in collaboration with University of Notre Dame Press, supports the publication of a first book by a Latino/a poet residing in the United States. The final judge for the next edition of the prize is Edwin Torres.


Andrés Montoya

Andrés Montoya was educated at California State University in Fresno, where he studied with Philip Levine. He went on to earn his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Oregon, where he studied with Garrett Hongo. His work appeared in various literary journals, including The Santa Clara Review, In the Grove, Bilingual Review/Revista Bilingüe, and Flies, Cockroaches, and Poets. His various occupations included field hand, ditch digger, canner, ice plant worker, and writing teacher.

He was the author of The Iceworker Sings (Bilingual Press, 1999)—the manuscript that won the 1997 Chicano/Latino Literary Prize at UC Irvine. The judge was Francisco X. Alarcón. The collection went on to win a Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award in 2000. Born on May 18th, 1968, Andrés Montoya died on May 26th, 1999, at the age of 31. The co-founder of the Chicano Writers and Artists Association, Montoya’s work continues to touch many people.

Final Judge: Edwin Torres


To Apply

Only submissions following these guidelines will be considered


Latino/a poets who have not had a book professionally published. Authors of chapbooks and self-published works are eligible, but the manuscript submitted should not have been published as a whole in any form. Manuscripts may be submitted elsewhere simultaneously, but authors must notify the Institute for Latino Studies immediately if a manuscript becomes committed to another press. It is understood that, in the absence of such notification, the winning author is committed to publishing his/her manuscript with the University of Notre Dame Press. A manuscript committed to another press is not eligible for the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. There is no entrance fee. Employees and students of the University of Notre Dame are not eligible.

  • TWO copies of your manuscript must be submitted.
  • Manuscripts must be of original poetry, in English, by one poet who resides in the United States. There are no restrictions on the style of poetry or subject matter. Translations are not eligible.
  • The manuscript must be a minimum of 50 numbered pages and a maximum of 100 numbered pages in length. All manuscripts must be paginated. Each new poem must start a new page.
  • The manuscript should begin with unnumbered frontmatter: a title page that shows the book’s title and your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if you have one); a table of contents; and (if applicable) a list of acknowledgements.
  • Begin paginating the manuscript after the frontmatter. If your book is divided into parts or has an epigraph, Page 1 will be the first part title or the epigraph. Otherwise, Page 1 will be the first poem.
  • In formatting the manuscript, please make legibility your first priority. If you use a word processor, choose a standard typeface (such as Garamond or Times New Roman) in at least 10-point type. Manuscripts should be single-spaced, or 1.5 spaced. Manuscripts may be prepared on a typewriter instead of a word processor. Handwritten manuscripts will not be accepted.
  • A brief biography may appear at the end of the manuscript. This information is not required and, if submitted, need not be included in the page count.
  • Each manuscript should be fastened with a binder clip; staples, report covers, and other bindings should not be used.
  • Authors who wish the ILS to acknowledge receipt of their manuscripts must enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard. A self-addressed, stamped, business-sized envelope must also be enclosed in order to receive notification of the winner.
  • Manuscripts submitted to the contest will not be returned. Please keep a copy of the manuscript.

The winner will receive $1000 and publication at the University of Notre Dame Press under a standard contract, as well as an invitation from the Institute for Latino Studies to read from his/her work, along with the judge, upon publication of the book, with all expenses paid.

The Institute for Latino Studies reserves the right to withhold the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize in any given year.

Please send TWO copies of your manuscript, via US Mail, postmarked no later than JANUARY 15, 2016, to:

Francisco Aragón, Coordinator
Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize
Institute for Latino Studies
230 McKenna Hall
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556


The Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, named after the late California native and author of the award-winning book, The Iceworker Sings, supports the work of emerging Latino/a poets. The Prize provides a space for artists who, while part of the largest and fastest growing minority in the United States, are also increasingly diverse in their modes of literary expression. The Prize, therefore, does not privilege any particular style, subject matter, or aesthetic. While not losing sight of the traditions and conditions that gave rise to that literary expression, the Prize has as its goal to nurture the various paths that Latino poetry is taking in the 21st Century. The Prize is awarded every other year. In the year it is not awarded, the Institute for Latino Studies, in collaboration with the previous year’s winner, will strive to foster and expand the audience for Latino poetry, both inside and outside our communities.

Winner 2004
Sherly Luna
selected by Robert Vazquez

Winner 2006
Gabriel Gomez
selected by Valerie Martínez

Winner 2008
Paul Martínez Pompa
selected by Martín Espada

Winner 2010
Emma Trelles 
selected by Silvia Curbelo

Winner 2012
Laurie Ann Guerrero
selected by Francisco X. Alarcón

Winner 2014
David Campos
selected by Rhina P. Espaillat