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Earth Day Poetry Contest Poster (1200 × 628 px)

Earth Day Poetry Contest

The Muse Writers Center and Slover Library are proud to present the inaugural Earth Day Poetry Contest, run in conjunction with Slover's annual Earth Day Photo Contest. The poetry contest is an ekphrastic challenge, meaning entrants will write a poem inspired by an image. This year, there will be two images to choose from: the 2022 Earth Day Photo Contest winners, found at the bottom of this page. Your poem can be as closely or as loosely related to the image as you'd like -- just go where the inspiration takes you!

Winners will be chosen in each of three age-based categories: Kids (12 and under), Teens (13-17), or Adults (18+). Winners will be notified via email ahead of the April 22nd award ceremony at Slover Library and will have the opportunity to read their winning poem; non-local entrants will be invited to send a recording.

Please be sure to read all submission guidelines carefully, then click the link at the bottom of the page to submit your poem.

Submission Guidelines

  • All poems must be the writer's own original, unpublished work.
  • Please keep entries under 5 pages or 100 lines.
  • Only one poem may be submitted per person; multiple poems or entries will be disqualified.
  • Please be sure to select the appropriate age category when submitting your poem.
  • Upload your poem as a Word document or PDF. Please note that if your poem has specific or unusual formatting, a PDF is the best way to ensure that formatting is preserved.
  • Be sure your submission file is properly named; naming format can be found on the submission form.
  • Keep it simple -- no fancy fonts, please.
  • Keep it cool -- any work deemed inappropriate or discriminatory in any way will not be considered.
  • DEADLINE: MARCH 31ST, 2023


The Photos:

Photo 1: "Storm of a Lifetime" by Gregory Hardison
Photo 1: "Storm of a Lifetime" by Gregory Hardison
Photo 2: "Dragonfly" by Devindi Wijekoon
Photo 2: "Dragonfly" by Devindi Wijekoon

Meet the Judges:

The Adults category will be judged by Luisa A. Igloria, former Poet Laureate of Virginia, teacher at the Muse and Old Dominion University, and award-winning author of several poetry collections, including Maps for Migrants and Ghosts, The Buddha Wonders if She is Having a Mid-Life Crisis, and Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser.

The Teens category will be judged by Kindra McDonald, Muse teacher, Executive Director of the Elizabeth River Trail Foundation, and award-winning author of several poetry collections, including In the Meat Years, Fossils, and Teaching a Wild Thing.

The Kids category will be judged by Susan Page Deutsch, program manager and youth teacher at the Muse Writers Center and winner of the 2022 Dr. Anne Meek Poetry Prize.