Poetry Competition Announced

September 10, 2013


As part of  Bradley University’s campus-wide focus on civil rights, the English Department and the Creative Writing Program have teamed with the Institute for Principled Leadership to sponsor a fall 2013 poetry competition.

This competition recognizes student poetry addressing the notion of civil rights broadly conceived, not only the actual 1960s civil rights movement but also its cousin movements for human equality in subsequent decades. Many students already write poems engaging matters of politics, culture, and social justice, so this competition offers our students a larger forum for sharing those works. This competition also aligns with our Creative Writing program's conviction that poetry offers an apt form for social engagement. 

In this the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, it is timely for students to reflect on the progress made toward achieving racial, economic, and gender equality as well as on the work that remains ahead of us.

Within their poems, students may approach the idea of civil rights from any perspective they choose. This may include reflections on historical figures and events, on the personal experiences of their families and loved ones, and on more abstract notions of social justice and equality at work in our American past and present. 

The winning poem and suitable finalists will be published in the spring 2014 IPL conference proceedings, and the winning student will be invited to recite her/his poem during the spring conference.

Competition Procedures and Deadline

Members of Bradley University’s Creative Writing program will serve as contest judges.

Entries will be judged not simply on appropriateness of subject matter but also on quality of poetic expression as works of art. All entries will be judged anonymously.

The submission deadline is November 22, 2013. Students must complete the required entry form to be eligible for the award. Click here for contest rules and the necessary entry form.

Questions should be directed to Professor Kevin Stein via kstein@bradley.edu.