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4th Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards

November 23, 2019 1:02 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

From 11/22/2019 Illinois Humanities email:

In partnership with Poetry Foundation, Brooks Permissions, and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Illinois Humanities is proud to announce the opening of the Fourth Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards competition celebrating young poets in kindergarten through 12th grade across the state of Illinois.

We are currently accepting submissions and will continue to do so until the April 30, 2020 deadline. Continuing the tradition started by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Illinois Poet Laureate herself in 1970, the Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards encourages submissions of original poetry from young people throughout Illinois that exemplifies what Ms. Brooks looked for when she ran the contest: “vitality, language surprises, bright contemporaneity, technical excellence, evidence of suitability for the ‘long haul”. Ultimately, however, we look forward to honoring and celebrating the young poets of Illinois because, as Ms. Brooks wrote, “they created … and that is what is important.”

Please help us spread the word widely and encourage a young person or a group of young people you know to write and share what is unique to them --- their stories, their experiences, their worldviews, their voices --- because we are all anxious to read and hear what they have to say.

In 2020, we will also be offering a series of youth poetry writing workshops facilitated by teaching poets from Poetry Foundation that will run from February through April and be held on the West and South Sides of Chicago and in Champaign-Urbana, as part of our effort to encourage as many young people as possible to submit their poems to the contest.

The Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards will continue the tradition started by Ms. Brooks of honoring winning poets from all grade levels at a ceremony on the University of Chicago’s campus (now held at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts) on Saturday, August 1, 2020 from 1:00-3:00 PM. For more information, please contact Mark Hallett, Program Manager, Grants, at 312-374-1555 or at

Gabrielle Lyon

Executive Director

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