Ron Offen Poetry Prize

Established in memory of poet and editor Ron Offen, the Ron Offen Poetry Prize brings one Chicago poet to campus each year for a public reading. The prize also accommodates one student reader, to be chosen by the visiting poet from anonymous submissions. Any UChicago student is eligible to submit. Recent Offen poets include Jennifer Nelson, Nate Marshall, Roger Reeves, Ed Roberson and Daniel Borzutzky – a distinguished list and evidence of Chicago’s centrality to contemporary American poetry.

The 2020-21 Offen Poetry Prize judge is Krista Franklin.

Krista Franklin

Krista Franklin is a writer and visual artist; the author of Too Much Midnight (Haymarket Books, 2020), the artist book Under the Knife (Candor Arts, 2018), and the chapbook Study of Love & Black Body (Willow Books, 2012). She is a Helen and Tim Meier Foundation for the Arts Achievement Awardee, and a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. Her visual art has exhibited at Poetry Foundation, Konsthall C, Rootwork Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Studio Museum in Harlem, Chicago Cultural Center, National Museum of Mexican Art, and the set of 20th Century Fox’s Empire. She has been published in Poetry, Black Camera, The Offing, Vinyl, and a number of anthologies and artist books. 

Past Poets & Student Readers


Poet: Krista Franklin

Student: Sarah Kim


Poet: Jennifer Nelson

Student: Sophia YoungSun Rhee


Poet: Nate Marshall

Student: Felix Lecocq and Urvi Kumbhat


Poet: Duriel E. Harris 

Student: Kirsten Ihns


Poet: Roger Reeves

Student: Emily Yoon


Poet: Ed Roberson

Student: Eli Rudavsky


Poet: Daniel Borzutzky

Student: Tim DeMay


Poet: William Fuller

Student: Dawn Herrera Helphand 


Poet: Ilya Kaminsky

Student: V. Joshua Adams