Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition

Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition

George Bilgere, poet

The Lanier Library of Tryon is accepting submissions for the 10th Annual Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition until midnight on Thursday, March 15. The competition is one of four signature events the library holds each year to celebrate and further the literary arts in Tryon.

The competition, which has expanded beyond the Carolinas for the fi rst time this year, will be judged by George Bilgere. Bilgere is the author of six published collections of poetry and a winner of the Autumn House Press Poetry Prize, the May Swenson Poetry Prize and the University of Akron Poetry Prize. “We had George hold a workshop and reading at a Poetry Month event fi ve years ago and he was a huge success,” says Nancy Pemberton, chair of the competition committee. “He is funny and warm and an award-winning poet with a national name. This is the first year we have opened the competition to all 50 states and we felt we needed a prestigious and recognizable name to choose the winners. George Bilgere was the perfect choice.”

There are adult and student (ages 13-18) categories for the competition, with a first place prize of $500 for the adult winner and $50 for the student winner. There is an entry fee of $15 per poem ($5 per poem for student entries). A single competitor may submit up to 5 poems, accompanied by the $15/$5 fee for each poem.

An award ceremony will be held at the library on Saturday, April 28, at 4 p.m. The ceremony will be followed by a reception for contestants and their friends and families.

The historic Lanier Library, dating back to 1890 and named after Georgia poet Sidney Lanier who died near Tryon in 1881, is one of only a handful of subscription/ membership libraries left in the US.

Lanier Library is located at 72 Chestnut Street in Tryon. For more information or to submit a poem electronically, visit

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