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For this contest, we want you to create a piece of visual art made with words.

'Swan and Shadow' by John Hollander (1969)

Many readers understand a concrete poem to be a poem that takes the shape of its subject—a poem about a swan in the shape of a swan, for instance.

Though that is certainly a type of concrete poem, a concrete poem can also be more than that. A concrete poem is a piece of art to which both the visual and the written element are essential. With just the image (no words), you lose something, just as with only the words (no image), you lose something. A concrete poem is one you need to see as well as hear!

See our second example. It does not depict the outline of any recognizable shape. However, it is visually interesting, and the interplay between the words, letters, and the layout creates a piece of art.

'A Sonnet in Motion' by Paula Claire

Contest Details

Length: You may submit a packet of 1-3 concrete poems per entry.

Deadline: September 15, 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time).

Results: We will select three winners.

Prizes: We will award Amazon vouchers to three winning entries:

  • First place $50
  • Second place $25
  • Third place $10

Publication: We will consider all poems submitted to the contest for potential publication.


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