Tom Nattell Peace Poetry Prize Guidelines

Tom Nattell Peace Poetry Prize – 2021

Open to students in all grades at Albany High School

Deadline April 30, 2021

Tom Nattell was born in Albany in 1952 and graduated from Albany High School in 1970.  It was during his high school years that Tom Nattell began writing poetry and developing his appreciation of the power of this art form.  At his AHS graduation Tom was awarded a cash prize for his poetry, which encouraged him to continue writing for the rest of his life.  He hoped to do the same for the AHS student poets of today. The Tom Nattell Peace Poetry Prize was created by Tom before he died as a means to encourage poetry as a creative expression for Albany High School students.

Tom spent a life-time of community activism that focused on peace, social justice and environmental issues.  He helped organize a large number of community events including many that presented poetry.  Among these were: Readings Against the End of the World, Poets’ Action Against AIDS, Poets’ Open Mic at the QE2, and the Poets in the Park series in Albany’s Washington Park.  Tom, on his own or with the poetry performance group 3 Guys from Albany, was often part of rallies for peace, the environment or to support some of the more vulnerable in the community like the homeless.  Poetry was an important means for Tom to express and communicate his concerns.  For some of Tom’s poetry & more information about his life visit

The Tom Nattell Peace Poetry Prize fosters this spirit and sense of social responsibility in poetry.  Recipients of this prize will be considered in this light.  In 2021 the Prize will be two $200 prizes (i.e, 2 poets will get an award).  The judges will be community writers and members of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild (

Submission Guidelines

  • Original poetry will be accepted from enrolled students at Albany Hight School, from all grade levels (9 – 12).  Previous winners may submit poems to the contest, but no student may win the prize more than twice.
  • Students may submit up to 3 poems, which should be their own, original work.  Students do not have to write a poem specifically for the contest, or in the style of Tom Nattell’s poetry, but are encouraged to submit their best, most characteristic work.  The judging for the prize will be based on the merits of the poems submitted.
  • The work should be typed without the student’s name on the poem(s); students will submit with the poem(s) a separate sheet with their name, address, email address & the titles of the poems submitted.
  • Poems may be submitted via email as a single document (such as .doc or .docx), or by regular mail.  Send poems to:  Dan Wilcox, 280 South Main Ave., Albany, NY  12208.  Email submissions to: Questions may be directed to Dan at this email address.
  • Submissions must be emailed or postmarked by:  April 30, 2021