Poetry Contest

Mississippi River Poetry Writing & Reading Contest

This poetry contest is held in conjunction with ArtStart’s 6th Annual EcoArts Fest, a free, family friendly celebration of the “Spirit of the Mississippi River.” The Mississippi River Poetry Contest, for poets 18 years and older, is about the written word and about bringing poetry alive by reading out loud. The contest will result in naming a 2013 Poet of the Mississippi River.

Five finalists will read their poetry at the Harriet Island Regional Park, Saint Paul, on Saturday morning, May 18, 2013. Each will give a brief, timed reading on a small stage with a microphone at an indoor pavilion on the banks of the Mississippi River. Three judges will decide the winner who will receive $250; the other four finalists will each receive $100. The winner will be introduced as the 2013 Poet of the Mississippi River during outdoor ceremonies and a processional that opens the EcoArts Fest in the early afternoon. The poet will read his or her Mississippi River poem and receive the cash prize and a piece of artwork by a regional artist.

The EcoArts Fest and the poetry contest flow into the mission of ArtStart, a non-profit organization, to inspire artistic creativity and illuminate the connections among people, ideas, and the environment through engaging youth, families, and communities in quality arts and arts education experiences.

Poets entering the contest should consider what poet John Rezmerski, coordinator of Cambria Eisteddfod, another Minnesota poetry aloud event, calls “the bardic tradition.” The role of a bard is part of many cultures beyond Celtic, from the dalang in Indonesia to the griots of Western Africa. Throughout history, the bard has been associated with spiritual power and even magic, as well as with preserving the history of a culture and explaining the origins of the natural world.

The contest is for writers 18 years and over. Young people interested in poetry may join the audience at the recitation contest and visit the Word Flow tent at the EcoArts Fest in order to meet poets and share poems. ArtStart offers school-based classroom residencies to support students in writing poetry as well as in making art. Students from schools involved in the Two Rivers Art & Poetry Project are among the participants at EcoArts Fest.

View the contest rules >

Mail to ArtStart, Poetry Contest, 1459 St. Clair, Saint Paul, MN 55105
All inquiries to contest contact, mmhasse@gmail.com

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