The Michener Art Museum is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and we invite you to participate in our Ekphrastic Poetry Contest!

What is Ekphrastic Writing?

Ekphrastic writing, or writing about art, was developed long ago by the Greeks. The goal of ekphrasis was to make the reader, or listener envision a work of art as if it were physically present. This literary form helps students develop creative writing and critical thinking skills by writing poems in response to works of art. In our image saturated world, taking time to look and describe works of art is central to developing visual literacy. An Ekphrastic writing experience supports the Common Core ELA Learning Standards.

A panel of judges will review and rank each entry based on originality, form, language, grammatical skill, and the creative interpretation or reflection of writing. Judges reserve the right to not grant an award if they feel no submission merits an award.

Entries will be divided into two student groups: Grades 6–8 and Grades 9–12 with one first place, one second place, one third place, and up to three honorable mentions in each group. All winning poems will be featured in the exhibition 30 Years: Art at the Michener and online via the Michener’s Art Museum website and social media channels.

The contest is open to students in grades 6–12.

Entries should be inspired by a particular work of art in the exhibition, 30 Years: Art at The Michener. A selection of artwork featured in the exhibition can be accessed here.
Poem may contain up to 25 lines, or 300 words if prose poetry.
All entries must be submitted online. No mailed submissions will be accepted.
Writing must be submitted in edited format. Poems may be edited by Museum staff to fit on exhibit labels, but judgment of writing will be based on complete entries.

Entries have been closed.