The Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry is awarded biennially by the Library of Congress on behalf of the nation in recognition for the most distinguished book of poetry written by an American and published during the preceding two years.
The $10,000 prize winner is chosen by a three-member jury appointed by a selection committee composed of the Librarian of Congress, the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a publisher named by the Academy of American Poets and a literary critic nominated by the Bobbitt family. Awarded for "the Most Distinguished Book of Poetry Published in 2006 or 2007, OR For Lifetime Achievement in Poetry", nomininations come from publishers, and is given only to living American poets. The criteria for the award are that a nomination must be a poet's first poetry book or a book composed of new work of any length. Collected or selected works qualify only if they include at least thirty new poems previously unpublished in book form with prior publication in print media being acceptable.
At the sole discretion of the judging panel, they may instead award the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry.
Mrs. Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt was the eldest sister of Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States.