It's almost cruel, isn't it? The new winner of Milkweed Editions' Lindquist & Vennum Prize is just about to launch her new, prize-winning collection, when the announcement comes that the submission period is open for next year's prize.

Always after the new-new thing, we are.

Willoughby's okay with that. She's got two big events coming up: On March 9, she'll read with Milkweed writers Brian Laidlaw and Joni Tevis (time and location TBA), and on the following night, March 10, she'll read at 7 p.m. at the Weisman Museum at the University of MInnesota. That night she will read with two other "first book" authors, Rachel Mortiz ("Borrowed Wave") and novelist Jonah C. Sirott ("This is the Night").

Meanwhile, the rest of you poets have one short month (truly short: February) to get your manuscript to Milkweed. Postmark deadline is March 1 for the next Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry competition. The prize awards $10,000 and a publishing contract. Poets in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin are eligible to enter. Manuscripts must be complete and unpublished.

Hard copies only, mailed to: Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, Milkweed Editions, 1011 Washington Avenue South, Open Book, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55415.

The judge will be poet A. Van Jordan, the author of four collections, winner of the Whiting Award and a Guggenheim. He teaches at Rutgers University in New Jersey.