2021 Student Poetry Contest

Image of green grass with poem words written on top
Spring grass, there is a dance to be danced
for you.
Come up, spring grass, if only for young feet.
Come up, spring grass, young feet ask you.
Young spring grass just after the winter,
Shoots of the big green whisper of the year,
Come up, if only for young feet.
Come up, young feet ask you.

Carl Sandburg, 1928

Students are invited to submit a poem to Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site’s annual Student Poetry Contest. The contest encourages youth to explore writing their own poetry, and is open to students nationwide!

Submissions are accepted from grades 3-12 and must be postmarked by March 1, 2021. See below for submission rules.

Winners will be notified by April 5, 2021, and will be invited to participate in a special virtual program on April 18.

2021 Contest Rules

Theme - "Seasons"
Carl Sandburg found beauty in the simple America that surrounded him: the farms, industry, landscapes, culture, and people. Through his writing, Sandburg became the bard of America, serenading its artists, praising its workers, lamenting the degradation of its poor, and looking lovingly at its countryside. In honor of the poetry of Carl Sandburg that captures the beauty of the lives and landscapes of America, the theme for 2021 is “Seasons.”

Submission Rules
  • Poetry accepted from 3-12th grades only. Poems will be grouped for judging by 3-5th, 6-8th, and 9-12th.
  • Poems must be submitted by a teacher; homeschool teachers included.
  • No more than three poems per classroom (each from a different student).
  • Poem will be judged on its ability to communicate the theme.
  • Poem can be written in any style, but must not exceed one-page in length. No illustrations.
  • Poems must be typed, no handwritten entries, using standard computer fonts, like Times, Arial, etc...
  • Do not place any identifying information (name, school, grade, etc...) on poem sheet, that will go on submission form.
  • Submission form must be complete to be accepted:
    • Paperclipped to poem, no staples
    • Must be signed by parent, student and teacher
    • Submissions must be postmarked, faxed, or e-mailed to Carl_Administration@nps.gov, by March 1, 2021. Emailed submissions must be docs, .pdfs or scans. Low resolution pictures of the submission will not be accepted.
Judges from the literary community will make the decision for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place within each grade category (3-5th, 6-8th, 9-12th).

Poetry Partners
The 2020 Poetry Contest is a result of tremendous community support including the Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara and the North Carolina Poetry Society members who serve as judges. Thank you.

Poetry Resources
You may also find curriculum resources to use in the classroom at the park’s website: www.nps.gov/carl/learn/education/index.htm.

Send Submissions to:
Carl Sandburg Home NHS
Attn: Poetry Contest
81 Carl Sandburg Lane
Flat Rock, North Carolina 28731
Fax 828-693-4179
Email: carl_administration@nps.gov

Last updated: January 3, 2021

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81 Carl Sandburg Lane
Flat Rock, NC 28731


(828) 693-4178

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