Monday, February 3, 2014

The Political Poet Poetry Competition in Honor of Countee Cullen

The Political Poet Poetry Competition in Honor of Countee Cullen (1903 – 1946)

April is National Poetry Month, and The Political Poet is having a poetry competition in honor one of the most respected and leading American poets of the Harlem Renaissance movement, Countee Cullen.

There is no secret to success except hard work and getting something indefinable which we call 'the breaks.' In order for a writer to succeed, I suggest three things - read and write - and wait."                - Countee Cullen

The competition is free, no entry fee, but limited to three poems per person. Poems of any length, style, form, structured or free verse. Your poem(s) must be in English. Any subject matter is acceptable, but anything deemed derogatory to anyone due to race, religion or sexual preference will be removed. By submitting to this competition, poets are verifying they are your poems your original work, and you must not assign or license to any other party any copyrights or other rights in your poems. Poems should not contain material that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, pornographic, harassing, threatening, harmful, and invasive of privacy or publicity rights, abusive, inflammatory, or otherwise objectionable. In other words, your poems must be suitable to be posted on an unrestricted web site that minors access.

Contest open to individual persons who are 18 or older as of the time of their initial entry. Current and former employees, contractors, directors, and officers of The Political Poet, or Dark Butterfly Publications, their immediate family members (parent, child, sibling, and spouse), and those living in the same domicile therewith are ineligible. Sorry, contest is open to United States residents only. Poets living outside the USA can submit poems for posting consideration, but they are ineligible for prizes. Minors under the age of 18 can now submit poems to the competition, but all entries must follow previously posted guidelines and be accompanied with a signed statement granting permission from one of the minor’s parents or legal guardians. Prizes won by a minor will be shipped to the parent or legal guardian.

Amateur category is returning this year. If you are not a previously published poet then your entries qualify for the amateur category to encourage new poets and students. Your entries will still be considered for the regular competition, but only unpublished poets qualify for the new prize. Please notate your entry as AMATEUR POET for this additional consideration. The Political Poet defines published poet as anyone previously paid for their poetry, sold chapbooks or won monetary prizes in competitions where their work is then featured. If in doubt, ask for a ruling by email stating your question to in the subject line state POETRY CONTEST QUESTION.  

Email submissions to and put THE POLITICAL POET COMPETITION in the subject line, or send submissions by regular mail to The Political Poet, PO Box 90, Falmouth, KY 41040.

Include your name, address, email, and phone (optional) with your submission(s). Deadline for submissions is March 22, 2014. Finalists will be notified by March 31, 2014 and their names posted on The Political Poet blog along with honorable mentions.

The top 5 actual poems will be posted on The Political Poet web page throughout April, 2014.

1st place gets $50.00
2nd place gets $25.00
3rd place gets $15.00
4th and 5th place get signed copy of Star Child and 13 More Twisted Tales.
1st place Amateur category gets $25.00 and signed copy of Star Child and 13 More Twisted Tales.
Estimated prize values including postage: 1st ($50.00) 2nd ($25) 3rd ($15.00) 4th/5th ($11.95) 1st Amateur ($36.95)