Each year more than 200 poems are entered in the Upper Eastern Shore’s Regional Poetry contest. This event is unique to the area and offers an excellent opportunity for aspiring and accomplished poets to have their work judged by working writers and to read to an audience. Teachers are encouraged to incorporate the contest into classroom studies and to submit student work for the contest. Now in its 16th year, this annual event is presented by the Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot County Arts Councils.
Cash prizes of $100, $50, and $25 dollars are awarded for first, second, and third place in each of four categories: children / youth (grades 1-8), students (grades 9-12), adults (ages 18-59) and seniors (ages 60+). In addition to the cash awards, winners enjoy a public reception at the Church Hill Theatre where they can recite their winning poems.
Entrants must be residents, students, or employees in the participating counties. They may not submit previously published or award winning poems. Staff members of the participating arts councils are not eligible. Winners will be notified no later than the second week of April. Full details and rules are available with each entry form.
This year’s contest judge is Ellen Wise. Wise received the 2011 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award and the 2009 Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellowship in Poetry. She attended the 2011 Breadloaf Writers Conference and is a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellow. Her poem sequence, Ventriloquist Acts of God, set to music by American Classical composer Adolphus Hailstork, has been performed widely including at the Manhattan School of Music and in Auvillar, France. She received honorable mention in the 2011 Delmarva Review short story competition and was semi-finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals. She serves as board member for Perugia Press, a national prize-winning publisher of emerging women poets. She lives with her husband Fred in Galena, Maryland.
The deadline for submission is March 1, 2012. Deliver entry forms with poems to the Queen Anne’s County Arts Council by the deadline or send with postmark by March 1 to 206 S. Commerce St., Centreville, MD 21617. Late entries are not accepted and an official entry form is required for contest consideration. Entry forms are available through the participating local Arts Councils: Caroline 410-479-1009, Cecil 410-392-5740, Kent 410-778-1149, Queen Anne’s 410-758-2520, and Talbot 410-310-9812.
The Queen Anne’s County Arts Council is a nonprofit organization committed promoting, expanding and sustaining the arts by connecting artists to audiences and the community to the arts. Visit them on the web: arts4u.info The Centre receives support through a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.