Poetry Guidelines

➔ Poetry

Application Deadline: Wednesday January 25, 20235:00 PM EST

NYFA only accepts applications submitted online at apply.nyfa.org/submit.

Poetry Guidelines PDF


Application Open: Tuesday, October 15, 2022 10:00 AM EDT  
Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 25, 2023, 5:00 PM EST
Applicants Notified: Summer 2023


The Poetry category accepts original work in all forms of poetry, for either the page, the stage, or lyrics for a music composition.


When submitting an application to the POETRY category you will need to complete:


  • Work Samples – Up to 20 pages of manuscript & 1 title page in PDF format
  • Artist Statement – up to 100 words
  • Work Statement – up to 100 words 
  • Excerpt Explanation – up to 400 words

Optional written statements: 

  • Cultural Statement – up to 400 words

Questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions Page or email [email protected].


What to Submit

Applicants can submit up to 20 pages from a manuscript that best represents their practice. Please also include a 1 page title page in your PDF in addition to the 20 page manuscript (21 pages in total). 

Work samples are a representation of your artistic work created within the last five years. This is the most important part of your application, as it will be the primary point of review. Keep in mind the panel reviews a large volume of material in quick succession; therefore, it is very important that you present your work clearly.

Your manuscript can consist of a singular body of work or multiple bodies of work. The title page should include the title of the piece and the date of completion, but not the name of the author. If your work sample includes a combination of excerpts from larger works, you are strongly advised to include substantial portions from each larger work, rather than small fragments.

Do not include publication and/or production information anywhere on your manuscript. Do not include your artistic résumé in your PDF. Materials can be previously published or not. If published, scanned excerpts from books or periodicals, in published form, will be ineligible. Manuscripts must be in English, or  can be translated into English by someone other than the artist. 

Note: Manuscripts can be up to 20 pages in length. Panelists are instructed not to review any materials beyond the 20 pages submitted.

Work Sample Descriptions

Work Sample Descriptions: Before you upload the .pdf file to your application, you will need to name your file. Do not label your work sample with your name. Instead, label it with the title of your work.

Metadata Section in Application: A metadata section will appear on your application form after your work sample has been uploaded. In this section, you will be able to provide a description of your work which includes the title(s), date(s) the work was completed, and additional information. Do not include production or publication history.

File Formats

File name: Label your manuscript with the title of the work, ex. The Big Story.pdf or Work Sample 2023. Do not include your name.

Length: Up to 20 pages. Spacing and page formatting at the discretion of the artist.

Title Page: One page title page with the title of the work(s), and year(s) of completion, but not the name of the author/applicant.

Language: English

File format: .pdf


Artist Statement (Required, 100 Words Max)

A short concise statement giving an overview of your artistic practice. This statement should give a brief introduction to ideas, themes and methods in your practice. This is not an Artist’s Bio. The artist statement is available to panelists in the second round of review. 

Work Statement (Required, 100 Words Max)

A statement explaining your artistic vision as directly related to your submitted work samples. This is not an artist statement, but should instead reflect only the ideas and inspiration relevant ONLY to the work submitted. The work statement is available to panelists in the first round of review.

Questions to consider for your Work Statement: Referencing only the submitted Work Samples

1. What is your submitted work about?
2. How does this work represent the primary concerns and intentions of your artistic practice as described in your artist statement?

Excerpt Explanation (Required, 400 Words Max)

A supplemental statement further explaining the context, concept, and execution of your work sample(s). This statement can also explain how the excerpted work sample(s) relate to the entire original piece. Within the Excerpt Explanation you can itemize each submitted Work Sample and talk about them individually. 

Questions to consider for your Excerpt Explanation: Referencing only the submitted Work Samples

1. What information is needed to give context to your work samples?
2. Consider itemizing your excerpt explanation, describing each work sample.

Cultural Statement (Optional, 400 Words Max)

A supplemental statement describing how your work is rooted in a specific cultural technique, tradition, or community.

Write a Cultural Statement if: Referencing only the submitted Work Samples

1. Your practice stems from a specific and/or unique cultural tradition.
2. The understanding of your work is dependent on the context of a cultural community.


All applications must be submitted via the online application platform Submittable at https://apply.nyfa.org/. NYFA does not accept any physical copies of applications.

Applicants must have a Submittable account in order to access the application form and upload supporting materials. To create a free account, click on the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship: Poetry application, enter your details, and click Create Account and ContinueA verification email will be sent to your email address; check your inbox and click on the link provided in the email to verify your account.* If you already have an account, sign in and begin the application.

*If you do not receive an email from Submittable in your inbox, be sure to check your Spam inbox.

Saving your progress on Submittable: To save your working application as a draft, scroll to the bottom of the form and select Save Draft. Applications are not considered complete until you hit SubmitSign in here to access your draft application

Locating your Submitted Application: Click here review your Submitted application.

Notifications: Applicants will be notified of their application results via Submittable. We recommend using an email address that is regularly active to ensure that you are receiving updates.


Applications are reviewed online over the course of 3 elimination rounds. All applications will be reviewed anonymously in the first round of review. 

In Round 1, the panel will have access to all applicants’ Work Samples (up to 20 pages of manuscript + 1 title page) and the Work Statement. Applications are assigned a number and reviewed anonymously. In this round panelists are directed to review and score applications independently.

In Round 2, panelists will have access to all supplemental written statements (i.e: Artist Statement, Excerpt Explanation, Cultural Statement). Similar to the first round, the panel will continue to review and score applications independently.

In the following round, the panel will meet online and collectively discuss the applications that have made it into this round before selecting the Fellowship Recipients. 

Please note, panelists will not look at websites of any kind during the application review process.
Submitting any work that has been awarded a NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in the past will automatically disqualify your application.

Once submitted, you were no longer be able to make changes to your application!


To request an accommodation or if you need assistance in applying online, please email [email protected] or call (212) 366-6900 ext. 166 on Tuesdays-Thursdays between 10:30 AM and 5:00 PM ET (NYFA is currently working on a hybrid schedule). We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible, and no later than Tuesday, January 10 to allow adequate time for staff to support you in submitting an application before the deadline.