The Blair Prize

We invite you to submit to the 2014 David Blair Memorial Chapbook Prize (formerly OW! Arts Prize). The prize includes a cash award of $150, 30 author copies, and a high quality video filmed by series editor Jamaal May. Camera shy poets fret not. The video can be made regardless of your preferred level of participation or can be waived altogether if you want. All finalists will be considered for publication.


  • 24 pages of poetry, maximum (excluding front matter: contents, title page etc,)
  • $15 fee
  • Award: $150, 30 author copies, and short poetry film.
  • 50% author discount

Deadline for submissions: APRIL 15-June 21





In Memory of


See a video of Blair here.

Blair, born David Alan Blair, passed away on July 23, 2011. He was an award-winning, multi-faceted artist: singer-songwriter, poet, writer, performer, musician, community activist and teacher. Born Sept. 19, 1967, he grew up in Newton, N.J., but called Detroit his adopted home.  Blair performed all over the world and has friends on almost every continent. Blair’s work and life leave an indelible impression on the Detroit community as well as all of the communities he touched. The Blair prize honors his legacy.


Judge Bio

Natalie Diaz Headshot - credit Rachel Eliza Griffiths Webdiaz-cover-real

Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She played professional basketball in Europe and Asia before earning her MFA at Old Dominion University. Her first book, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press. She lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, where she works with the last Elder speakers of the Mojave language to document and revitalize the Makav language at Fort Mojave. She and her Elders are building a Mojave language dictionary and encyclopedia. She is a Lannan Fellow as well as a Native Arts Council Foundation Fellow. She teaches in the Institute of American Indian Arts Low Rez MFA program.




2013 Winner: Joseph O. Legaspi


josephlegaspiblueClick to Purchase


Joseph O. Legaspi is the author of Imago (CavanKerry Press) and Subways (Thrush Press), a chapbook.  Recent works appeared in Poem-A-Day from the Academy of American Poets, jubilat, diode, South Dakota Review, Water~Stone Review, and the anthologies Language for a New Century (W.W. Norton), Collective Brightness (Sibling Rivalry Press), Flicker and Spark (Low Brow Press) and Coming Close (Prairie Lights/University of Iowa Press). He co-founded Kundiman (, a non-profit organization serving Asian American poetry.

We are also happy to be publishing the first runner up manuscript, Mammoth by Rachel McKibbens!

Rachel McKibbensClick to Purchase

Special shout-out to our other 2nd runners up: Snake Mountain Almanac by Matthew Wimberley/Last Night I Dreamt of Volcanoes by Michelle Peñaloza (tied) and 3rd runner up Disasterology by Maggie Smith.

Thank you to all of the wonderful poets who trusted the OW! ARts mission enough to send work. We were assured by our contest judge, Vievee Francis, that the finalists did not make it easy on her. The editors can attest that it was among the strongest pool of manuscripts we’ve seen in our collective  years of screening and editing. The 2014 Blair Prize is here!