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Youth Poetry Contest

Entries Accepted March 15 - April 15

Winners Announced by U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo on April 25

 

 

Youth Poetry Contest FAQ

Must be a 4th - 12th grader during the entry period AND must live in or attend school in Oklahoma County.

Library employees and members of their households are not eligible.

Eligible participants may submit a maximum of 2 works. A completed online entry form must accompany each submission. Ineligible or incomplete forms and/or entries will not be judged.

Entries must NOT:

  • Be in a language other than English
  • Be copied from any other sources
  • Have been previously published
  • Be more than 1,500 words

Option 1:  Submit online submission

Option 2:  Ask a library staff member to help you submit your entry at any library location.

 

Entries will not be returned.

Library staff will serve as judges. Entries will be judged on content, originality and quality. Winners will be contacted via phone and/or email by library staff and announced on April 25 by U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. Winners will be published on the library’s website and social media platforms.

Grades 4-6 - 1 Prize Winner 

  • Wireless Headphones 
  • Prize Pack with a journal, pen and poetry books   


Grades 7-9 - 1 Prize Winner 

  • Amazon Fire Tablet 
  • Prize Pack with a journal, pen and poetry books    

 

Grades 10-12 - 1 Prize Winner 

  • Amazon Fire Tablet  
  • Prize Pack with a journal, pen and poetry books   

 

Best in Show - 1 Prize Winner 

  • iPad 
  • Wireless Headphones 
  • Prize Pack with a journal, pen and poetry books    

 

Youth Poetry Workshop

 

Poetry Workshop for 4th - 6th Grade

Presented by Mary Gray, Local Poet, MPA and MFA

Join Poet Mary Gray as she walks students through the definition of personification, delves into figurative language, and provides a guided poetry reading of works by Mordicai Gerstein. At the end of Mary’s poetry workshop, students will have the opportunity to put pen to paper with a fun writing exercise.


 

Presented by Grant Jenkins, Assoc. Prof., Faculty of English Language and Literature, University of Tulsa

Black Americans of African descent have been writing poetry in North America before the United States was even a country. Join Poetry Professor Grant Matthew Jenkins as he discusses his love and appreciation of African American Poetry. Professor Jenkins introduces young poets to poetry greats such as Phillis Wheatley, George Moses Horton, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Melvin B. Tolson, Gwendolyn Brooks, Russell Atkins, Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, and Sonia Sanchez. He then showcases three of his favorite poets (Nathaniel Mackey, Julie Patton & Harryette Mullen) in the hopes that students will learn something about writing poetry from each of their unique writing styles, which include stuttered rhythms, improvisation, and nicknaming.


 

 

POETRY WORKSHOP FOR 7TH - 9TH GRADE

Presented by Mary Gray, Local Poet, MPA and MFA

Join Poet Mary Gray as she walks students through the definition of imagery, discusses the difference between abstract and concrete images, and provides a guided poetry reading. Mary’s poetry workshop will help young poets learn how to connect their reader with feelings or ideas that are sometimes difficult to put into words.


 

Presented by Grant Jenkins, Assoc. Prof., Faculty of English Language and Literature, University of Tulsa

Experiencing writer’s block? Not to worry! Professor and poet Grant Matthew Jenkins is here to show students how to have fun with words. Professor Jenkins talks about process-oriented writing and walks students through its four steps: free associate; sample & gather; defamiliarize; arrange. All you need is something to write with and three to four books to get started and create your own poem!


 

 

POETRY WORKSHOP FOR 10TH - 12TH GRADE

Presented by Najah Hylton, OKCPS English Teacher and Member of the Tri-City Collective, Oklahoma’s educational team of creatives for youth and communities of color

Join OKCPS teacher and poet Najah-Amatullah Hylton as she talks about poetry, what makes it interesting, what makes it fun, and her favorite things about it! Najah explains the difference between poetry and prose, delves into figurative language, specifically talks about sound devices such as alliteration, assonance, consonance, and rhyme, and provides a guided poetry reading in this informative poetry workshop video.


 

Presented by Najah Hylton, OKCPS English Teacher and Member of the Tri-City Collective, Oklahoma’s educational team of creatives for youth and communities of color

Join OKCPS teacher and poet Najah-Amatullah Hylton as she provides all the tips you need to learn how to write a poem! Najah reads one of her poems and teaches students to write their own by focusing on types of repetition. She talks about how to select a topic and explains words such as ekphrasis, anaphora, antimetabole, and chiasmus. Najah also stresses the importance of giving yourself time in your creative process and most importantly, having fun!


 

 

 

Other Poetry Month Events

Take Home Kit - National Poetry Month

4/1 @ 9:00am
to
4/30 @ 6:00pm
Downtown Library
Registration
Library Branch: Downtown Library
Room: Online + Curbside (Downtown)
Age Group: Kids
Program Type: Take Home Kit, Writing
Registration Required
Seats Remaining: 18
Event Description:
April is National Poetry Month! Stop by the Downtown Library pick up your personal poetry kit. When you have finished your poetry, bring your best poem back to the library so we can hang it up in the Children's Department! Kits are limited to on...

Early Childhood Take Home Kit : Build-A-Bug

All Day4/5 - 4/18
Belle Isle Library
Library Branch: Belle Isle Library
Room: Online + Curbside (Belle Isle)
Age Group: Birth-PreK
Program Type: Take Home Kit
Event Description:
This program is designed for parents and children ages 2-5 to do together. Make your own bug using different materials. While supplies last via curbside service. ...

Adult Take and Make Kit: National Poetry Month

All Day4/5 - 4/26
Belle Isle Library
Library Branch: Belle Isle Library
Room: Online + Curbside (Belle Isle)
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: DIY & Hobbies, Take Home Kit, Writing
Event Description:
It’s National Poetry Month and what better way to celebrate than coming up with a fun poem or Haiku. Belle Isle Library will be offering a Take and Make kit so that you can make your own refrigerator poems. Rearrange the words to write poems, message...
Registration
Library Branch: Edmond Library
Room: Online + Curbside (Edmond)
Age Group: Birth-PreK
Program Type: Child Development & Parenting, Take Home Kit
Registration Required
Waitlist Seats Remaining: 0
Event Description:
Looking for fun and engaging ways to play with your little one at home? Our skilled Children’s Librarians have developed a special take home kit just for you! Our 123! Play with Me at Home! take home kits include 4 fun and engaging activities that...

Disclaimer(s)

We can only guarantee one kit per registration.  Please register individually to ensure that kits are appropriately distributed.  Special notes should not be used for additional registrations.

Thank you for your help!

Early Childhood Take Home Kit: 123! Play with Me At Home!

All Day4/5 - 4/30
Ralph Ellison Library
Library Branch: Ralph Ellison Library
Room: Online + Curbside (Ralph Ellison)
Age Group: Birth-PreK
Program Type: Child Development & Parenting, Take Home Kit
Event Description:
Looking for fun and engaging ways to play with your little one at home? Our skilled Children’s Librarians have developed a special take home kit just for you! Our 123! Play with Me at Home! take home kits include 4 fun and engaging activities that...

Early Childhood Take Home Kit: 123! Play with Me At Home!

All Day4/5 - 4/30
The Village Library
Registration
Library Branch: The Village Library
Room: Online + Curbside (The Village)
Age Group: Birth-PreK
Program Type: Child Development & Parenting, Take Home Kit
Registration Required
Waitlist Seats Remaining: 0
Event Description:
Looking for fun and engaging ways to play with your little one at home? Our skilled Children’s Librarians have developed a special take home kit just for you! Our 123! Play with Me at Home! take home kits include 4 fun and engaging activities that...
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