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 Thom Gunn Award honors Thom Gunn (1929–2004), who was the author of The Man with Night Sweats (1992) and many other acclaimed volumes. Gunn, who was born in Kent, England, lived in San Francisco from 1960 until his death. (In its first four years, including the year Mr. Gunn himself won, this award was known as the Triangle Award for Gay Poetry.)

The finalists and the winner are determined by a panel of judges appointed by the Publishing Triangle’s awards committee. Starting in the spring of 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. There was a tie in 2008.


Alive at the End of the World, by Saeed Jones (Coffee House Press)

  Invisible History: The Collected Poems of Walta Borawski, edited by Philip Clark and Michael Bronski (Rebel Satori Press)

Madness, by Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué (Nightboat Books)

Mouth, Sugar and Smoke, by Eric Tran (Diode Editions)


The Monster I Am Today: Leontyne Price and a Life in Verse, by Kevin Simmonds (Northwestern University Press)

Mutiny, by Phillip B. Williams (Penguin Books)

Punks: New and Selected Poems, by John Keene (The Song Cave)

Shoreditch, by Miguel Murphy (Barrow Street Press)


Fantasia for the Man in Blue, Tommye Blount (Four Way Books)

Homie, by Danez Smith (Graywolf Press)

Pricks in the Tapestry, by Jameson Fitzpatrick (Birds, LLC)

13th Balloon, by Mark Bibbins (Copper Canyon Press)


The Book of Daniel, by Aaron Smith (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Company, by Sam Ross (Four Way Books)

Documents, by Jan-Henry Gray (BOA Editions)

Impure Acts, by Angelo Nestore; translated by Lawrence Schimel (Indolent Books)


Cenzontle, by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo (BOA Editions)

Forgive the Body This Failure, by Blas Falconer (Four Way Books)

Luminous Debris: New and Selected Legerdemain, 1992–2017, by Timothy Liu (Barrow Street Press)

Not Here, by Hieu Minh Nguyen (Coffee House Press)


Don’t Call Us Dead, by Danez Smith (Graywolf Press)

Half-Light: Collected Poems, 1965–2016, by Frank Bidart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Into Each Room We Enter Without Knowing, by Charif Shanahan (Southern Illinois University Press)

When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, by Chen Chen (BOA Editions)


Night Sky with Exit Wounds, by Ocean Vuong (Copper Canyon Press)

Rapture, by Sjohnna McCray (Graywolf Press)

Thief in the Interior, by Phillip B. Williams (Alice James Books)

Trouble the Water, by Derrick Austin (BOA Editions)


Boy with Thorn, by Rickey Laurentiis (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Chord, by Rick Barot (Sarabande Books)

Farther Traveler, by Ronaldo V. Wilson (Counterpath Press)

The Spectral Wilderness, by Oliver Bendorf (Kent State University Press)


I Don’t Know Do You, by Roberto Montes (Ampersand Books)

The New Testament, by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon Press)

Prelude to Bruise, by Saeed Jones (Coffee House Press)

The Selected Poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini: A Bilingual Edition, by Pier Paolo Pasolini; edited and translated by Stephen Sartarelli (University of Chicago Press)


All the Heat We Could Carry, by Charlie Bondhus (Main Street Rag)

Sacrilegion, by L. Lamar Wilson (Carolina Wren Press)

The Talking Day, by Michael Klein (Sibling Rivalry Press)

Unpeopled Eden, by Rigoberto González (Four Way Books)


Appetite, by Aaron Smith (University of Pittsburgh Press)

He Do the Gay Man in Different Voices, by Stephen S. Mills (Sibling Rivalry Press)

Looking for the Gulf Motel, by Richard Blanco (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Slow Lightning, by Eduardo C. Corral (Yale University Press)


A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos, by Tim Dlugos (Nightboat Books)

Love-in-Idleness, by Christopher Hennessy (Brooklyn Arts Press)

Motion Studies, by Brad Richard (The Word Works)

Touch, by Henri Cole (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


The Dirt Riddles, by Michael Walsh (University of Arkansas Press)

Harm’s Way, by Eric Leigh (University of Arkansas Press)

The Madeleine Poems, by Paul Legault (Omnidawn)


The Brother Swimming Beneath Me, by Brent Goodman (Black Lawrence Press)

Chronic, by D. A. Powell (Graywolf Press)

Poems of the Black Object, by Ronaldo V. Wilson (Futurepoem Books)


Boy with Flowers, by Ely Shipley (Barrow Street Press)

Fire to Fire, by Mark Doty (Harper/HarperCollins)

Please, by Jericho Brown (New Issues)


Blackbird and Wolf, by Henri Cole (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Blind Date with Cafavy, by Steve Fellner (Marsh Hawk Press) (tie)

Under Sleep, by Daniel Hall (University of Chicago Press) (tie)


The Eros Conspiracy, by Greg Hewett (Coffee House Press)

Gutted, by Justin Chin (Manic D Press)

A History of My Tattoo, by Jim Elledge (Stonewall)


Crush, by Richard Siken (Yale University Press)

Cut Off the Ears of Winter, by Peter Covino (New Issues)

Star Dust, by Frank Bidart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


Cocktails, by D. A. Powell (Graywolf Press)

The Rest of Love, by Carl Phillips (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Survivable World, by Ron Mohring (Word Works)


The Change, by Patrick Donnelly (Ausable Press)

The Room Where I Was Born, by Brian Teare (University of Wisconsin Press)

Saying the World, by Peter Pereira (Copper Canyon Press)


Landscape with Human Figure, by Rafael Campo (Duke University Press)

Red Suburb, by Greg Hewett (Coffee House Press)

Theory of Devolution, by David Groff (University of Illinois Press)


The Asthmatic Glassblower, by Billeh Nickerson (Arsenal Pulp Press)

Harmless Medicine, by Justin Chin (Manic D Press)

Source, by Mark Doty (HarperCollins)


Boss Cupid, by Thom Gunn (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Day for Night, by Griffin Hansbury (Painted Leaf Press)

Pastoral, by Carl Phillips (Graywolf Press)