Poet of Merit Award Nominations

Deadlines: the nomination period is 1/1 to 4/1.

The South Dakota State Poetry Society selects TWO poets for its Poet of Merit awards in which a new poet laureate is not named - one award for a living poet and one posthumous award. Nominees must have been either born in South Dakota or have been a resident for 5+ years. Ideally, if the nominee has moved out of state, he or she shall have maintained South Dakota ties.

The South Dakota Poet of Merit Award is a lifetime honor and may be granted regardless of whether or not the poet has served or may in the future serve as a South Dakota Poet Laureate.

Living South Dakota Poet of Merit Award winners will be invited to add copies of their work to the SDSPS Archives at SDSU’s Briggs Library.  Works of South Dakota Poet of Merit winners in the Posthumous category may be collected by the committee and submitted to the SDSPS Archives at SDSU’s Brigg’s Library.

Nomination Guidelines

Any active SDSPS member not on the SDSPS Poet of Merit Committee may nominate a poet in either or both categories in the South Dakota Poet of Merit Award by submitting the following:

*A cover letter stating why the poet deserves the honor.

*A sample of the poet’s work, not to exceed 15 pages or 10 minutes of recorded audio and/or video. (If poems are published, indicate where and when.)

*A bio of the poet, not to exceed three typed pages. (Note: At their discretion, the committee may choose to further read or research the poets’ writing and accomplishments, in addition to considering the submitted nomination materials.)

The deadline for nominations is April 1. The committee will choose a South Dakota Poet of Merit in either or both of the two categories by April 10, in order that the recipient(s) may be announced in the next issue of Pasque Petals. If the committee does not deem any nominations adequately meritorious, they may choose not to name a South Dakota Poet of Merit in either or both categories during the current year.

Past Winners:


2023 SD Poet Laureat Named

2022 Winners

2021 Winners

2020 Winners

Living Poet of Merit


Charles Luden

Sharon Chmielarz

Linda Hasselstrom

Posthumous Poet of Merit


Amanda Friesen

Leo Dangel


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