Brooklyn Poets Prizes

We currently award prizes for: Yawper of the Year, given to an outstanding poet in our Yawp community who is also a strong supporter of other poets; Yawp Poem of the Month, awarded by audience vote to the best poem at every Yawp; and Yawp Poem of the Year, awarded by audience vote to one of twelve Poem of the Month winners who compete in the Poem of the Year Smackdown at the December Yawp. Yawper of the Year and Poem of the Year winners receive a $250 cash prize, a Poet of the Week feature and a Brooklyn Poets T-shirt and membership.

2017 Award Winners

Yawper of the Year: Emily Blair

Poem of the Year: Shara Hardeson

Poem of the Year Runners-Up: Rand Feris, Cindy Tran

Poem of the Year Finalists: Sarah Passino, Julia Lynn Mesler, Yun Wei, KelleyGuinn McArtor, Kiran Bath, Diannely Antigua, Tess Congo, Lauren McGrath, Sharlene Guerna


Emily Blair

Emily Blair’s poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in cream city review, Indiana Review, Juked, New Ohio Review, Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology, among other places. She received a New York Foundation of the Arts fellowship in poetry in 2014 and in fiction in 2006 and is a member of the Sweet Action poetry collective. Also a visual artist, she creates multimedia books and collaborates with social practice artist Michelle Illuminato as Next Question.

Shara Hardeson

Winning Poem: “Dear Rabbit”
Shara Hardeson is a queer poet, copy editor and book reviewer. Her first published poetry appears in Newtown Literary, and her many book reviews can be found in the the Horn Book. She holds an MA in children’s literature and an MFA in writing for children from Simmons College. She is a member of the Sweet Action poetry collective.

2016 Award Winners

Yawper of the Year: Arthur Russell

Poem of the Year: Julia Knobloch

Poem of the Year Finalists: Bill Livingston, Chris Roberts, Dell Lemmon, Connor Crawford, Robert Gibbons, Emily Blair, Jonathan Clarence, Thomas Fucaloro, Emily Blair, Isabel Marcus, Tamara Lee


Arthur Russell

Arthur Russell, who never had any poem published anywhere since his high school yearbook, had eight poems published or accepted for publication in 2016 at Yellow Chair Review, Prelude, Wilderness House Literary Review, Shot Glass Journal #20, Paterson Literary Review, the Red Wheelbarrow #9 and the forthcoming Brooklyn Poets Anthology.


Julia Knobloch

Winning Poem: “Daylight Saving Time”
Julia Knobloch is a journalist and translator turned project manager and executive assistant. Before coming to New York, she worked 10+ years as a writer and producer for TV documentaries and radio features. Her essays and reportage have appeared in print and online publications in Germany, Argentina and the US (openDemocracy, the Brooklyn Rail, Reality Sandwich). She occasionally blogs for

2015 Award Winners

Yawper of the Year: Julie Hart

Poem of the Year: Arthur Russell

Poem of the Year Finalists: Richard Fein, Nicole Cygielman, Ed Toney, Emily Blair, Timothy Wojcik, Mirielle Clifford, Tracy May Fuad, Lars Miller, Laura Plaster, Jonathan Clarence, Sam Coggin.


Julie Hart

Originally from Minnesota, Julie Hart has lived in London, Zurich and Tokyo and now in Brooklyn Heights. Her work can be found in Five Quarterly, Denim Skin, PANK Magazine, The Rumpus, Vol. 1 Brooklyn and Floor Plan Journal.


Arthur Russell

Winning Poem: “The Whales Off Manhattan Beach Breaching in Winter”
Arthur Russell is a 59-year-old man who, as far as his mother is concerned, eats too fast, talks too quietly and is far too sensitive. There was a famous avant garde cello player with the same name of approximately the same age, who lived in the same apartment building as Allen Ginsberg on the Lower East Side, and died of AIDS in and around 1992. This is not that guy, although when that Arthur Russell died, his credit card company placed a lot of calls to this Arthur Russell, dunning him for payment. This Arthur Russell works as a lawyer, but his real skills are fixing toilets and apologizing for things he didn’t do.

2014 Award Winner

Yawper of the Year: Ricardo Hernandez


Ricardo Hernandez

Ricardo Thomas Manuel Hernandez is a poet and spoken word artist from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. He began performing throughout the New York City poetry scene in September 2012. Since then he has featured at Tom Kane’s Boulevard Bards, Saturn Poetry Series, Word at 4F, Ken Siegelman’s Brooklyn Poetry Outreach, The Nuyorican Poets Café and HOW TO BUILD A FIRE: A Brooklyn Storytelling Series, and starred as Allen Ginsberg in Brooklyn Gypsies’ Ghetto Hors D’oeuvres: Last Night of the Palladium.