MFA Coordinator

Dr. Tim Skeen


5245 N. Backer Ave.
M/S PB98
Fresno, CA 93710


559.278.2553 - Phone
559.278.7143 - Fax


Peters Business Building
Third Floor
Room 382

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Philip Levine Prize

NEW! Online Submissions - click here!

Winner, 2013 Philip Levine Prize in Poetry

Chelsea Wagenaar

Title: Mercy Spurs the Bone

Chelsea Wagenaar is a doctoral fellow in poetry at the University of North Texas, where she also teaches. Her poems have appeared or been accepted recently in Mid-American Review, Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, and Plume. She graduated from the University of Virginia and currently lives in Denton, Texas, with her husband, fellow poet Mark Wagenaar. 

Chelsea's manuscript was selected by final judge, Philip Levine.  Levine selected five additional finalists:

Victoria Kelly - When the Men Go Off to War

Craig Beaven - Natural History

KC Trommer - Puncture

Susan Aizenberg - Capote in Brooklyn

Lindsay Tigue - System of Ghosts

Prize History

The Philip Levine Prize in Poetry is an annual book contest proudly sponsored by the M.F.A. Program at California State University, Fresno. This contest, open to all poets (except current or former students or faculty of Fresno State), offers a $2000 prize, publication and distribution by Anhinga Press (a Florida-based press that has been publishing poetry for more than 25 years), and 25 free author copies of the winning book.

Through participation in our "Literary Editing and Publishing" course, MFA students are given an opportunity to serve as manuscript readers for the Prize, as well as to learn about other facets of contest administration, book publishing and promotions.

The contest is named for poet Philip Levine who was the final judge in 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2013. Philip Levine taught at California State University, Fresno for many years and is one of the best known and most highly-honored American poets. He has published 16 books of poems, as well as several volumes of translations and two collections of essays. His list of honors includes two National Book Awards, two National Book Critics Circle Awards, the American Book Award, the Ruth Lily Poetry Prize for Distinguished Poetic Achievement, and the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Philip Levine has served as Poet Laureate to the Library of Congress in 2011-2012.