English department first poetry contest


Grambling State University’s Department of English and Foreign Languages is sponsoring its first annual High School Poetry Contest. 

This opportunity is “Giving students the opportunity to receive recognition for their work,” said Dr. Hugh Wilson of the Department of English and Foreign Languages. 

With the help of Dr. James Clawson as the “technical wizard,” and voluntary contributions from faculty members toward the pool of the prize money rewarded throughout the poetry contest, the contest has been succeeding thus far.

 The poetry contest is targeted towards high school juniors and seniors who attend a public high school in the state of Louisiana. According to Dr. Wilson, the best three poets are rewarded and not the best poems.

Dr. Wilson encourages students to write poetry, whatever type they may choose.  The first prize winner receives $500, the second prize winner $300 and the third place winner $100.  There is an additional award for those poets who write the best original poems in a foreign language, Spanish or French, and they will be rewarded $100. 

Each contestant can submit a limit of two poems, but  this is not a requirement. The last day to submit the poems are by Jan. 31 and they are blindly judged (removing of the poets names) by a number of anonymous GSU faculty members.

Once the poems are judged, the winners will be announced and notified by April 15, and the prize money will be issued in a form of check and/or money order.

The contest was initiated on the bases that it would have the potential to bring favorable attention to the university and potentially recruit high school students to gain an interest in attending the institution. 

Although the contest seems to be coming to an end soon, the professors have been considering extending the deadline to give more students time to participate. 

“The contest was not well advertised as I would have liked it to be so we haven’t received as many entries,” Dr. Wilson said.

However, until the deadline for submissions are official there is still time for your little cousins, nieces and nephews to submit their poetry to,  giving them an opportunity to place first, second or third, to win a cash prize, and to have their work published.