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 $1000
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. The Nina Riggs Poetry Foundation is a nonprofit
501(c)3 corporation.
Your entire donation is tax deductible. If you
would like to donate, you can mail a check (made out to
"The Nina
Riggs Poetry Foundation"
) to the address below. You may also
donate online via our crowdfunding site by
clicking here.

Donations of $50 or more will be acknowledged on this website, as
well as in an issue of Cave Wall, with special acknowledgment for
donations over $100 and $500.

The Nina Riggs Poetry Foundation
c/o Cave Wall Press, LLC
P.O. Box 29546
Greensboro, NC 27429-9546

Special thanks to the following supporters:

 Friends (donations of $50 or more)

 Patrons (donations of $100 or more)

 Benefactors (donations of $500 or more)

Thanks to the following for generous donations
of time and resources:

Adam Tarleton and the law firm of Brooks Pierce (Greensboro, NC)
The Fresh Market at New Garden (Greensboro, NC)
Harris Teeter at the Old Shops at Battleground (Greensboro, NC)
Acme Comics (Greensboro, NC)
The UNCG MFA Program and The Greensboro Review
Scuppernong Books (Greensboro, NC)
The Asheville Poetry Review, Exit 7, Kestrel, The Hampden-Sydney
Poetry Review, Press 53, Sugar House Review


There is no application process for this award. The winners will be
chosen each year by a group that includes the editors of Cave Wall;
the board of The Nina Riggs Poetry Foundation, including Nina’s
widower, John Duberstein; a rotating selection of panelists; and a
guest judge. More information on the selection process can be
found below.

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 by living poets, published--in
books/anthologies or journals
(print or online)--within the last
three years.
No self-nominations, please. Do not send an entire
book: please choose up to 6 poems from the book and nominate
those. Be sure to let us know the name of the poet, the publication
where the poem appeared, and the year of publication. And please
"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.

Nominations received
by November 30 (postmark deadline) each
year will be considered for that year's award. Nominations received
after November
30 will be considered for the following year's award.

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

Thank you for supporting this fund through your donations and
nominations. Thank you for helping honor Nina's memory.

Cave Wall is a member of CLMP and abides by their code of ethics for running a
literary contest. The Nina Riggs Poetry Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3
corporation and as such has rules in place to be sure we give this award
equitably each year:

The following are ineligible for The Nina Riggs Poetry Award:

1. anyone related to someone on the foundation's board

2. anyone on the current Cave Wall masthead

3. a major donor who has given $1000 or more

4. No poems published in Cave Wall may receive this award.

5. The selection process and timing: CAVE WALL staff will narrow the
nominations to 25-30 poems and send these in January to the SELECTION
COMMITTEE (one representative of Cave Wall; John Duberstein (Nina's
widower, board member); Rachel Richardson (Nina's friend and colleague, board
member); and at least 4 rotating guest panelists. The selection committee will
choose 10-15 poems to send, in s
pring, to the GUEST JUDGE, who will select
the winner. The winner will be announced in
early summer.

6. If a guest panelist on the selection committee is related to one of the
finalists, they will recuse themselves and be replaced by a new panelist.

7. If the guest judge is related to one of the finalists or one of the finalists was
his/her student (student meaning someone whom the judge taught for a
semester or more), that poet will be removed from the finalists and put into
the finalist category the following year, regardless of the poem's date of

We will update this page with more information on our timeline and our
throughout the year, in order to be as transparent as possible about
how this award is decided and administered. Please email Rhett Trull at with any questions.
Susannah Bancroft
Jennifer Brown
Lisa Dordal
John Duberstein
Danielle Dubrasky
Lynn Gray
Kasey Jueds
Tracey Nafekh
Catherine Pattanayak
Gail Peck
Press 53
Allison Seay
Evie Shockley
Mike Smith
Annie Stenzel
Joe Viola
Roxanne & Fritz Ward
Lisa Zimmerman
Suzan Ayers Antin
Brettne Bloom
Partridge Boswell
Mandy Hitchcock & Ed Chaney
Fred & Susan Chappell
Martine Cherau
Jennifer Cross
Steve Cushman
Jennie Duberstein
John Duberstein
Jim & Dianne Iseman
Jim Iseman III
Amanda Moore
Nathaniel Perry
Deborah Pope
Tori Reynolds
Peter Riggs
Steve & Francie Riggs
Nora Smith
Larry Sorkin
Renee Soto
Mack Sperling
Writers Group of the Triad
Sarah Zering
Andrea Selch
Rhett & Jeff Trull
Lorraine Vinograd
Click here for the results of the
3 Nina Riggs Poetry Award,
along with past winners and finalists.