Students may submit one or two original poems, each with a maximum of 25 lines, by March 25, 2022. Ten finalists will recite their poems from memory at the competition on April 30, 2022. (Two alternates will be named as well.) Judges will consider both the quality of the poem itself and the skill of the recitation in determining competition winners; recitations allow for an embodiment of the poem but do not treat it as dramatic monologue.
While Mr. McPherson loved the sonnet, poems for this competition may be in any fixed or shaping form, including free verse.
If you submit to this competition a poem that has been submitted or accepted for publication or contests elsewhere, you must disclose this information at the time of submission.
THE THEME FOR 2022
In this year's poems, our theme of hope may take the form of a renewal of spirit, a rediscovery of wonder in the ordinary, or a simple stepping forward into new possibility.
Open to students enrolled in grades 9–12 in public, private, or home schools in Washington, DC, and in Montgomery County and Prince Georges County, MD.
DEADLINES AND NOTIFICATIONS
Students must submit their poems below by Friday, March 25, 2022. Finalists will be notified by email by April 15, 2022. Recitation competition for finalists on Saturday, April 30, 2022.
In Memory Of
This contest is to honor the life and work of Joseph W. McPherson (1948-2019) who loved poetry, especially its usefulness in revealing the true, the good and the beautiful. He wrote several thousand sonnets during his life on themes including history, religion, art, and natural history. He continues to inspire the mission and culture of Brookewood School and The Avalon School, including our commitment to the study and recitation of poetry.