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The Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize

An award of $650 for the best poem in traditional form by a University of Michigan student (graduate or undergraduate). “Traditional form” has been interpreted to mean metered, but not necessarily rhymed, verse.

Rules of Eligibility

The award is open to all University of Michigan students with no particular course or hour requirements. Only one poem may be submitted in the contest. The following restrictions apply:

  • The same poem shall not be entered in any other fall term poetry contest including the Hopwood Underclassmen Poetry Contest, with the exception of the Cowden Fellowship Contest.
  • No student who has won this award may compete again in the contest, nor may a winning poem be subsequently entered in any other Hopwood Program Contest, with the exception of fellowship/scholarship contests.
  • No poem that has been published in a medium other than a college or high school magazine or newspaper may be entered in the contest.

If you receive need-based financial aid and would like us to delay payment until the beginning of spring term (May) so your award won’t alter your current financial aid allocation, please indicate that on the entry form.


Entries should be in 10-12 point font, with a left-hand margin of 1.5 inches, in PDF format A contestant must use a pen name--entirely different from his or her real name. Please make sure the pen name in your profile matches the one on the PDF.  The same pen name must be used for all fall term contests This name should only appear on the title page, nowhere else in the manuscript. 

The PDF must have a title page on which shall appear: 

  • The title
  • The pen name 
  • The contest (e.g., The Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize)

Prize Deadline

The deadline for submission is noon (Eastern time) on January 27, 2021. Be advised that all contest deadlines are enforced to the minute.  The winner will be announced at the Hopwood Underclassmen Awards Ceremony on April 14, 2021.