The O. B. Hardison, Jr. Poetry Prize, awarded from 1991 to 2009, was the only major American prize to celebrate a poet’s excellence in both poetry and teaching. The winner received $10,000, and was honored with a ceremony and reading at the Folger.
The Hardison Prize was among the top poetry prizes in the country, including the National Book Award for poetry and the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for poetry (awarded biennially by the Library of Congress), both of which carry purses of $10,000.
The winner was selected by a revolving panel of three judges, each of whom made nominations for the prize and then selected the winner from those nominations. There is no application process.
Winners of the O.B. Hardison, Jr. Poetry Prize are Juliana Spahr (2009), Mary Kinzie (2008), David Wojahn (2007), David Rivard (2006), Tony Hoagland (2005), Reginald Gibbons (2004), Cornelius Eady (2003), Ellen Bryant Voight (2002), David St. John (2001), Rachel Hadas (2000), Alan Shapiro (1999), Heather McHugh (1998), Frank Bidart (1997), Jorie Graham (1996), E. Ethelbert Miller (1995), R.H.W. Dillard (1994), John Frederick Nims (1993), Cynthia MacDonald (1992), and Brendan Galvin (1991).