IATE Poetry Contest

For over forty years the Illinois Association of Teachers of English (IATE) has sponsored statewide poetry and prose competitions for Illinois grade, middle, and high school students.

Beginning with the 2004/2005 school year, I have partnered with IATE to cosponsor this writing competition. Since then, our welcome affiliation has continued to support Illinois students' creative work.

My particular focus is the student poetry contest. A list of this year's winning student-poets, their poems, their schools, and their nominating teachers can be found below. In addition, students' first place poems appear annually in the fall issue of IATE's Illinois English Bulletin.

From this year's fine group of winning poems, I have chosen several to receive notice as Poems of Special Merit. This award recognizes work that exhibits an appealing blend of craft and content, work that shows the poet rising above the mundane to establish, as Emerson says, "an original relationship to the universe."

IATE, Bradley University, and I team together to sponsor this award as our way to recognize exceptional student writing and to encourage students to pursue the pleasures and challenges of the literary life.

All students earning Poems of Special Merit recognition receive award certificates.

This yearly contest is open to all Illinois grade, middle, and high school students. To be eligible, student work must be submitted by a teacher who is a member of the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. For contest guidelines and deadlines, please email IATE officials Professor Jan Neuleib (jneuleib@ilstu.edu) or Ms. Martha Frieburg (mfrieb@ilstu.edu), or write IATE at Illinois State University, Campus Box 4240, English Department IATE, Normal, IL 71770.