Student Poetry Contest

Student Poetry Contests
Offer Cash and Recognition


     Many Border Voices students are automatically entered into an annual contest in which they can win cash awards. Selected students also appear on TV and have their poems published in the annual anthology and in The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Amy Glassford, 10, clutched her copy of the annual Border Voices anthology as she waited to recite her poem at the annual Border Voices Poetry Fair.

Amy Glassford, 10, clutched her copy of the annual Border Voices anthology as she waited to recite her poem at the annual Border Voices Poetry Fair.

The contest is open only to students who participate in classes taught by Border Voices poets:

    * Winners in the annual contest are announced each Spring.  The students read their poems before hundreds of people at the annual fair, and also appear on TV with featured poets who, in past years, have included Adrienne Rich, Sandra Cisneros, W.S. Merwin, Billy Collins and others.  The students also are published in the Union-Tribune and receive cash and other prizes.

     * First-, second-, third-, and fourth-place awards in each division (lower, and upper) are underwritten by the Administrators’ Association of San Diego City Schools. Special awards are presented by the Greater San Diego Council of Teachers of English.

     * The LoVerne Wilson Brown Scholarship Award was created in 2008 to honor students who carry on Mrs. Brown’s love of language and her graceful appreciation of the finer aspects of being a human being. Loverne Wilson Brown was a San Diego poet who endured countless hardships but never gave up writing. She founded a poetry workshop: the Loverne Brown Poetry Circle that met monthly until recent years. Among her many books of poems is  “Gathering Wine Grapes at the Hollywood Hilton” (La Querencia Press).

NOTE: Donations to the scholarship fund are gratefully accepted. Checks can be made out to the SDSU Research Foundation and mailed to SDSU Research Foundation, 9245 Sky Park Court, Suite 128, San Diego CA 92123. Please note in the memo portion of the check that the donation is for the Border Voices / LoVerne Wilson Brown Memorial Fund.

How Student Poems Are Submitted for Possible Awards & Publication

Poet-teacher will select up to five student poems per grade. For example, if the class is a 3rd / 4th combination, five poems can be submitted for each grade.  These are to be submitted for judging and possible publication in the Border Voices annual anthology. These poems will automatically be considered for contest awards. The Poet-Teacher is not one of the judges and the judges remain anonymous until the anthology is published. Awards are given at the annual poetry fair and/or on ITV.

If you are interested in supplementary activities that require additional fees – activities that might include Poet-Teacher in-services, assemblies and special projects such as the making  of a classroom anthology — then it is best to inquire before the actual workshop sessions. Or, you may make arrangements with the Poet-Teacher during the workshop or soon after it has ended. The Poet-Teacher who comes to your class will have additional details about the poetry contests, including entry deadlines. The deadline is at the end of the year or the first of the following year and the anthology is published the Spring. The publication release forms must be signed by the student’s parent or guardian and turned in to the Poet-Teacher soon after the workshop has ended. (Often students move to another classroom or graduate to another school.) The parent/guardian signature on these forms is consent for the student’s poem to be published, but there is no guarantee publication. That is up to the panel of judges.

Funding sources may include: GATE site categorical budgets, PTA, other school budgets and community funding sources (such as foundations, private donations, etc.) or site grants.


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