Nina Riggs, author of The Bright Hour and Lucky Lucky, wrote
beautiful work on many subjects, including relationships and
domestic life. She knew how to savor every moment of her too-short
life, and in her poetry and her memoir, she explores the poignancy
and love that resonate in the details of every day. With this award,
Cave Wall seeks to honor poets like Nina, whose writing illuminates
just how extraordinary the ordinary can be.

Each year, Cave Wall will award at least one poet for the finest
writing that examines relationships, family, or domestic life.
will be looking for poems published in journals and books during
the previous three years. Each winner will receive at least $500
and, if funding permits, will be invited to give a reading in
Greensboro, NC, Nina Riggs’s hometown.

This is a crowd-funded award. Thank you to everyone who has
donated already. We are in the process of forming a nonprofit
corporation so that future donations will be tax deductible.
tuned for more information on how to donate.

There is no application process for this award. The winners will be
chosen each year by a panel that includes the editors of
Cave Wall,
along with Nina’s widower, John Duberstein.
We welcome
nominations year-round by postal mail.
Please mail us copies of
poems you come across that honor family or relationships in some
way, poems published within the last three years. Be sure to let us
know the name of the poet and the publication where they first
And please indicate "Nina Riggs Award nomination" on
your envelope and on the cover letter or poems themselves so that
we don't confuse it with regular submissions to the magazine.

If you have any questions, in the meantime, about Nina's work or
this award, feel free to email Rhett at