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Caldwell Poetry Award


A LSWA winter term tradition established in 2006 through a generous gift from Jeanne and Will M. Caldwell to the College of LSA, the Caldwell Poetry Award gifts cash prizes ranging from $100-$500 per poem to the most outstanding poems in each of the below categories. Poems in each category are judged by a carefully selected committee of student leaders and faculty. Winning poems will also be published in LSWA's annual Arts and Literary Journal! We will announce winners at the End-of-Year Festival in April 2024 (date TBD), and there will also be a reading of the performance pieces before then. ALL current LSWA students, as well as LSWA alumni who are still at U of M, are encouraged to submit their poems when the application opens in March 2024! The competition is divided into the folllowing categories:


1. Written Poems

Students may submit up to five poems.

2. Recitation

The Caldwells have a particular interest in public speaking and the oral interpretation of poetry. The Caldwell Poetry Award therefore recognizes students who also excel in performing their work, thus demonstrating the transformative power of the spoken word. This category falls into two parts:

  • Original work: Students will recite their own poem. (one poem only)
  • Interpretive work: Students will give an oral interpretation of another poet's work. (one poem only)

Students must submit the poem(s) (one original and/or one insterpretive) that they will perform in advance.

3. LSWA Alumni

Former Lloyd Scholars still at U of M (2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022) may also submit written poems or performance pieces, as noted above, but will be judged in a separate category. The same due dates and application process applies. 


Please email with any questions!


*Important note for students receiving need-based financial aid: Financial assistance from all sources during the academic year factors into the ongoing review of students' financial aid eligibility now and in the future. If your total financial aid, including any new offer, exceeds your eligibility for financial assistance this academic year, your aid may be limited in a future term or reduced from previously received assistance. This policy has affected some Caldwell winners in the past, resulting in reductions to the amounts of prize money they were able to receive. This year, based on conversations with both the UM Office of Financial Aid and the LSA Finance Office, we are hopeful that Caldwell Prizes will not cause conflicts with financial aid allotments in most cases. In the event that any prize money you receive does get flagged as a conflict with your financial aid package, we can help you schedule a consultation with someone in the OFA who may be able to help mitigate the issue. You can learn more about financial aid terms and conditions on the Office of Financial Aid's website. If you have questions or want to consult with someone about your particular situation, please contact OFA.