A composition, marked by language chosen for its sound, beauty and evocative power.



  1. Submit six (6) notarized copies of the original poem.
  2. The top  of   each  page  must   include  the  contestant’s   name,   page  number   and  unit   name  and


  1. Poems should  be  typed,  using  12  point  Times  New  Roman,  Verdana,  Georgia,  or  Comic  Sans. Please  no  other  fancy  typefaces  or  graphics. Poems  should  retain  original  form  that  they  were created  in  and  do  not  have  to  be  double-spaced.  Individual  poems  may  be  free  verse  or  rhymed metrical poetry containing stanzas.   Poems should not exceed 3 pages.
  2. The contestants will be interviewed about their work by a panel of judges.



NOTE:   The  deadline  for  submission  of  national  registration  documents  is  May 15, 2020..   No

materials or copies will be accepted after that time or at the National Competition. Contestants will be judged by the following criteria:

  • Emotional Connection  (20)-  Is  the  poet  emotionally  connected  to    the    topic    they    are    writing

about and does the poem elicit an emotional response from the reader?


  • Original Thought  (20)  –  Has  the  poet  tackled  an  interesting  subject  or  created  something  new

with  their  work,  or  are  they  simply  parroting  belief  systems  or  ideas  that  they  have  heard  from

someone  else.


  • Sequential Development  (20)  –  Does  the  poem  follow  a  distinct  path  or  does  it  wander  without every  really  getting  to  the  point.  Are  there  too  many  things  going  on  in  the  poem?  Is  there  a strong ending, or is it forced?
  • Structure or  Form,  and  Overall  Presentation  (20)  –  How is  the  poem constructed?  Are  there appropriate  line  and  stanza  breaks?  Does  the  poem  have  a  strong  title?  Does  the  poem  contain appropriate  grammar  and  punctuation?


•          Use  of  language  as  it  relates  to  theme  (20)  –  Does  the  poet  use  figurative  language  including vivid   imagery,   similes,   metaphors,   hyperbole,   or   idiom?   Is   the   voice   active,   are   the   senses engaged?