A: The IUPUI Poetry Contest annually receives around 1000 submissions of poems. We take the time to read each of the poems carefully before we send a select few on to our contest judge. Limiting submissions to one poem per student ensures that we can give each student’s poem the attention it deserves.
Q: Why can’t I have my name or other identifying information in my poem?
A: Our judging is strictly anonymous. While it is not likely that the judges will know the students entering their work, we want to ensure that our decisions are not based upon the name of the student, the school the student attends, or where the student lives.
Q: Do the judges like a certain type of poem or subject matter?
A: Our judges consider all subject matters, styles, and forms of poetry. The finalists and winners of the contest in past years have tended to be those poems that evoke strong sensory imagery, employ concrete diction, use a very natural and fluid form, and exhibit an original sense of voice.
Q: Are there any restrictions on the kind of language that I can use in my poem? What about foreign words and phrases?
A: The judges understand that all language, even some which might be considered offensive to some, can be used to good effect within poems. However, excessive and gratuitous use of profanity is rarely a quality of the winning poems and finalists in our competition. Words derived from languages other than English can also add intrigue, musicality, and additional cultural understanding to poems. However, poems should be primarily in English, and all foreign phrases and words should be clear from the context of the poem or should be translated in footnotes. Please, use good sense with the language you include in your poems and think about your readers.
Q: Can my teacher submit my poem for me or with a group of poems from my class?
A: Students should submit their poems themselves, but high school teachers can encourage groups of students to submit their work individually at the same time and suggest which poems students should enter. A good source for classroom poetry exercises is The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises from Poets Who Teach by Robin Behn & Chase Twitchell (Harper Paperbacks, 1992).
Q: I submitted my poem and noticed that the line breaks were removed from the poem or I submitted the wrong information in the wrong blank. Do I need to resubmit the poem?
A: Sometimes when students submit their poems via our online entry form, they’ll see that their poems are reformatted without line breaks. But the judges will be able to view the poems in their properly format when they begin judging. So you do not need to resubmit the poems. If you’ve submitted a correct email address, we can always contact you, so please do not resubmit your poems unless you’ve left out substantial information for contacting you. For questions regarding online submissions su liame esaelp rather than calling. This will ensure the most efficient response.
Q: How do you choose the judges for the contest?
A: Faculty members in creative writing from the Department of English at IUPUI serve as preliminary judges for the contest. Our final contest judges are publishing poets and poetry instructors with a regional or national reputation whose poems we admire and whom we think would be inspiring to our students. Those poets also give readings in the Rufus & Louise Reiberg Series.
Q: When will I find out if I am a winner or finalist?
While different judges take longer to read the poems than others do, our preliminary judges generally complete their judging in late spring and forward the poems to the final judge over the summer, with notification coming usually in late July or August. Please wait to inquire about winners until at least August 15.
Q: Can I attend the awards ceremony even though my poem was not chosen as a winner or finalist?
All students who have entered poems in the contest, as well as their family, friends, and teachers, are welcome and encouraged to attend the awards ceremony, which annually takes place in the fall as part of a reading within the Rufus & Louise Reiberg Series at IUPUI. The date and location of the awards ceremony will be posted here.
Q: If I’m a winner and I am considering enrolling at IUPUI, what should I do?
A: First off, you should visit the IUPUI Admissions website for information about requirements for enrolling at IUPUI and the process for enrolling. Then you should contact namretsolK iroL to discuss your scholarship and how that will be applied to your courses and fees at IUPUI.