The Publishing Triangle instituted its poetry awards in 2001. Each of the two poetry awards is for books published in the preceding year in the United States or Canada (i.e., the 2019 award below honored books published in 2018).

The Audre Lorde Award honors the American poet, essayist, librarian, and teacher. Lorde (1934–1992) was nominated for the National Book Award for From a Land Where Other People Live and was the poet laureate of New York State in 1991. She received the Publishing Triangle’s Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement shortly before her death. Among her other sixteen books are Zami (1982) and A Burst of Light (1989).

The finalists and the winner are determined by a panel of judges appointed by the Publishing Triangle’s awards committee. Starting with the 2018, the winner receives a prize of $1000; prior to that, winners received $500.

In the listings below, finalists are presented in alphabetical order by book title. Bold type and a triangle indicate winners.


Beast at Every Threshold, by Natalie Wee  (Arsenal Pulp Press) Her Birth and Later Years: New and Collected Poems, 1971-2021, by Irena Klepfisz (Wesleyan University Press) Urbanshee, by Siaara Freeman (Button Poetry) Yearn, by Rage Hezekiah (Diode Editions)


Magnified, by Minnie Bruce Pratt (Wesleyan University Press) Mama Phife Represents, by Cheryl Boyce-Taylor (Haymarket Books) Permanent Volta, by Rosie Stockton (Nightboat Books) The Renunciations, by Donika Kelly (Graywolf Press)


Devil’s Lake, by Sarah M. Sala (Tolsun Books) Here Is the Sweet Hand, by Francine J. Harris (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) Indigo, by Ellen Bass (Copper Canyon Press) Postcolonial Love Poem, by Natalie Diaz (Graywolf Press)


Be Recorder, by Carmen Giménez Smith (Graywolf Press) Odes to Lithium, by Shira Erlichman (Alice James Books) Soft Science, by Franny Choi (Alice James Books) Tonguebreaker, by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (Arsenal Pulp Press)


Autobiography of a Wound, by Brynne Rebele-Henry (University of Pittsburgh Press)

High Ground Coward, by Alicia Mountain (University of Iowa Press)

Mosaic of the Dark, by Lisa Dordal (Black Lawrence Press)

Rest, by Margaree Little (Four Way Books)


Lena, by Cassie Pruyn (Texas Tech University Press)

No Dictionary of a Living Tongue, by Duriel E. Harris (Nightboat Books)

Rocket Fantastic, by Gabrielle Calvocoressi (Persea Books)

Some Say, by Maureen N. McLane (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


Bestiary, by Donika Kelly (Graywolf Press)

The Complete Works of Pat Parker, by Pat Parker; edited by Julie R. Enszer (Sinister Wisdom/A Midsummer Night’s Press)

Play Dead, by Francine J. Harris (Alice James Books)

Threnody, by Juliet Patterson (Nightboat Books)


Bodymap, by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (Mawenzi House/TSAR)

Fanny Says, by Nickole Brown (BOA Editions)

Life in a Box Is a Pretty Life, by Dawn Lundy (Nightboat Books)

No Confession, No Mass, by Jennifer Perrine (University of Nebraska Press)


How a Mirage Works, by Beverly Burch (Sixteen Rivers Press)

Last Psalm at Sea Level, by Meg Day (Barrow Street Press)

Like a Beggar, by Ellen Bass (Copper Canyon Press)

Tiger Heron, by Robin Becker (University of Pittsburgh Press)


Butch Geography, by Stacey Waite (Tupelo Press)

Enchantée, by Angie Estes (Oberlin College Press)

She Has a Name, by Kamilah Aisha Moon (Four Way Books)

Swoop, by Hailey Leithauser (Graywolf Press)


The Light That Puts an End to Dreams, by Susan Sherman (Wings Press)

Port of Call, by Davida Singer (Plain View Press)

Song and Spectacle, by Rachel Rose (Harbour Publishing)

Wine for a Shotgun, by Marty McConnell (EM Press)


Cow, by Susan Hawthorne (Spinifex Press)

Inside the Money Machine, by Minnie Bruce Pratt (Carolina Wren Press)

Open Winter, by Rae Gouirand (Bellday Books)

The Stranger Dissolves, by Christina Hutchins (Sixteen Rivers Press)


The Inquisition Yours, by Jen Currin (Coach House Books)

Money for Sunsets, by Elizabeth J. Colen (Steel Toe Books)

The Sensual World Re-emerges, by Eleanor Lerman (Sarabande Books)


Bird Eating Bird, by Kristin Naca (HarperPerennial/HarperCollins)

On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year, by Lee Ann Roripaugh (Southern Illinois University Press)

Zero at the Bone, by Stacie Cassarino (New Issues Poetry & Prose)


Causeway, by Elaine Sexton (New Issues)

Interpretive Work, by Elizabeth Bradfield (Red Hen Press)

Same Life, by Maureen McLane (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


The Body Is No Machine, by Jennifer Perrine (New Issues)

My Body, by Joan Larkin (Hanging Loose Press)

Sorry, Tree, by Eileen Myles (Wave Books)


The Domain of Perfect Affection, by Robin Becker (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Hometown for an Hour, by Jennifer Rose (Ohio University Press)

Sleeping Upside Down, by Kate Lynn Hibbard (Silverfish Review Press)


Collected Poems with Notes Toward the Memoirs, by Djuna Barnes; edited by Philip Herring and Osias Stutman (University of Wisconsin Press)

Directed by Desire, by June Jordan (Copper Canyon Press)

A Palace of Pearls, by Jane Miller (Copper Canyon Press)


The School Among the Ruins, by Adrienne Rich (W. W. Norton)

Venus Examines Her Breast, by Maureen Seaton (Carnegie Mellon University Press)

Year of the Snake, by Lee Ann Roripaugh (Southern Illinois University Press)


Desesperanto, by Marilyn Hacker (W. W. Norton)

The Dirt She Ate, by Minnie Bruce Pratt (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Final Girl, by Daphne Gottlieb (Soft Skull Press)


Côte Blanche, by Martha Serpas (New Issues)

Passing, by Eloise Klein Healy (Red Hen Press)

Red, by Melanie Braverman (Perugia Press)


Here, by Letta Neely (Wildheart Press)

Mr. Bluebird, by Gerry Gomez Pearlberg (Painted Leaf Press)

Skies, by Eileen Myles (Black Sparrow Press)


Mercy Mercy Me, by Elena Georgiou (Painted Leaf Press)

On the Eighth Day Adam Slept Alone, by Nancy Boutilier (Black Sparrow Press)

Squares and Courtyards, by Marilyn Hacker (W. W. Norton)