Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry: Grants for Creative Writing

OVERVIEW: Witter Bynner awards grants to support various activities related to poets and poetry.

IP TAKE: Bynner does not award many grants each year. As a result, applicants should expect funding competition.

PROFILE: During his life, Witter Bynner was a poet and professor of writing. He is described as a “versatile man of letters, whose whole working career was given to the act of literature.” The Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, established in 1972, funds projects that supports poetry. The foundation awards grants through four categories: individual poets, translation and the process of translation, developing the poetry audience, and uses of poetry.

Through it's individual category, Bynner awards one grant to the Library of Congress for the Witter Bynner Fellowship per year. The Poet laureate selects the grantee. The foundation's translation category supports projects that translate foreign poetry into English, while it also funds the work of individual translators. Moreover, the foundation also funds projects that “explore the art and process of translation."  

Bynner's program to develop poetry audiences awards a diversity of projects related to poetry, such as but not limited to documentary film production, dramatic presentations, school poetry programs, and reading series. Lastly, the uses of poetry program funds programs that use “poetry for the public good.” This includes, for example, therapeutic programs, curriculum development, and prison programs.

Grant amounts range from $1,000 to $10,000. Unsolicited letters of intent are accepted until December 31 of each year. Applicants invited to submit full proposals turn in completed applications by February 15. Grants are paid in installments, typically beginning on June 1.


  • Steven Schwartz, Executive Director
  • Robert Kurth, Vice President