Founded in 2007 and sponsored by Madwomen in the Attic, the Patricia Dobler Poetry Award was created to honor the work of women writers and the memory of the late Patricia Dobler, esteemed English professor at Carlow, distinguished poet, and former Madwomen director.

Call for submissions: 2021 Patricia Dobler Poetry Award

Contest rules

The award is open to women writers over the age of 40 who:

  • Are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, currently living in the U.S.
  • Have not published a full-length book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction (chapbooks excluded)

Poems must be unpublished, up to 75 lines or fewer per poem; up to two poems, of any style, per submission.

The winner receives:

  • The Dobler Award (valued at $2,000) in the form of $1,000
  • Round-trip travel, lodging & reading at Carlow University in Pittsburgh with the final judge
  • Publication of the winning poem in Voices from the Attic
  • A copy of Voices from the Attic

Current Carlow students or employees are not eligible.

Contact Madwomen in the Attic

For information on this year’s award or general questions, contact us! 


About Patricia Dobler

Patricia Dobler was born in Middletown, Ohio in 1939. She is the author of “UXB” (Mill Hunk Books, 1991), Brittingham Prize in Poetry winner, “Talking to Strangers” (University of Wisconsin Press, 1986), “Forget Your Life,” (chapbook, University of Nebraska Press) and “Now” (full-length collection).

Her poems have appeared in such publications as “Mid-American Review”, “The Ohio Review”, “Ploughshares”, “Prairie Schooner”, and “Southern Poetry Review”.

Her work has been anthologized in “A Gathering of Poets”, “A New Geography of Poets”, “The Carnegie Mellon Anthology of Poetry”, “Working Classics”, “Vital Signs”, “Anthology of Magazine Verse & Yearbook of American Poetry” among others.

She received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo and Villa Montalvo and a Pushcart Poetry prize.

She lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and taught for many years at Carlow University, where she directed the Women’s Creative Writing Center and the Madwomen in the Attic Writing Workshops. She died July 24, 2004. After her death, her “Collected Poems” was published by Autumn House Press in 2005.

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