Poetry in the High Schools

Marin Poetry Center 2020 High School Poetry Contest

MPC’s contest provides students professional review, selection, and publishing via our High School Poetry Anthology.  Also, students selected for the anthology are invited to read their work at our Gala Award Ceremony in the spring of 2020 and receive a free anthology copy.  For many students, inclusion in our anthology is their first experience writing and/or publishing a poem.  In the process, students tap into a special part of themselves and learn the power of their unique voice.  We cannot wait to review this year’s submissions.  Thank you for supporting the MPC High School Poetry Contest.

Contest Submission Dates: November 1, 2019 – January 31, 2020

Students provide digital rather than paper submissions. Guidelines below.

How teachers can help:

  • If an interested teacher at your school isn’t cc’d, please forward this info.
  • If possible, plan your poetry unit during the contest submission period.
  • Talk to students about the contest to stimulate interest.
  • Turn a class poetry writing assignment into contest submissions.
  • Submit poems created for slam or other poetry clubs.
  • Post the attached contest Guidelines in your classroom.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns at:  highschool@marinpoetrycenter.org


Submission Dates: November 1, 2019 – January 31, 2020

The contest is open to any high school student (grades 9-12) residing in Marin County.

Submissions are limited to 3 poems per student.

Poems should be no longer than a single page using a 12-point plain font.

For each poem submitted, create a separate 2-page document.

Page 1 is the poem. The student’s name should not appear wiht their poem.

Page 2 should include the following information:

  • Name
  • Address including city and zip code
  • Home phone
  • Cell phone
  • Email
  • Grade level
  • Name of school
  • Name of English teacher

Students use Google Docs to submit poems to their English teacher. 

Each English teacher collects their students’ poems in a folder. The folder name should include the teacher’s name and the name of the school.

At the end of the submission period (no later than Midnight, Jan. 31, 2020) each teacher will send his or her class folder to: highschool@marinpoetrycenter.org 

Please address any questions to: highschool@marinpoetrycenter.org 

Submissions will be judged on: 

  • Courage of expression
  • Originality of language
  • Skill in poetic technique


Winners 2018

First Place, Clyde Childress Award         We The Same Color by Rudy Perez-Diaz
Second Place                                              Making Birch Paper with my Father by Elizabeth Wing
Third Place                                                  I Love to Write Poetry by Iona Normandi

Winners 2017

First Place                                             Memoir by Benjamin Wall-Feng
Second Place                                        Native Tongues by Ashley Sanchez 
Third Place                                            Dementia by Lily Kun