In October 2010 the Richmond Arts & Culture Commission (RACC) sponsored its first poetry writing contest, Richmond Writes!, in celebration of National Arts and Humanities Month, which takes place each October. Following up on the great success of the initial citywide contest, RACC held a second contest in October 2011, the themes of which were aligned with the Iron Triangle Legacy Project. Close to 200 students submitted over 300 poems in an inspiring display of their talents as writers.
Today we are proud to announce the 2014 Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest. This year’s theme is “Richmond Identities: Extraordinary Lives/Ordinary People.” Submissions of short poetry forms are welcome. For details, please read below.
All poetry contest submissions must be received at the RACC office before 5:00 p.m. on February 10, 2014. The office is located at 440 Civic Center Plaza, 2nd Floor, Richmond, CA 94804. Electronic submissions are also welcome. Submit them by midnight of February 10, 2014 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eligible students are those attending any schools in Richmond, whether public or private. Home-schooled students, and students who reside in Richmond but attend schools outside of the city limits, are also eligible. A special competition category has been created for students in LEAP (Literacy is for Every Adult Program).
HOW DOES IT WORK?
All short poems submitted by eligible students will be judged for originality, writing skills, and understanding of the chosen subject. Submission deadline is February 10th. Judges will pick three finalists for each category (elementary, middle school, high school, and LEAP). All participants will receive certificates of recognition, as well as a chapbook containing all submissions, and finalists will be honored by the Mayor at a celebration honoring their efforts during National Poetry Month in April 2014.
THE 2014 THEME – Richmond Identities: Extraordinary Lives/Ordinary People
Students are invited to write about “Richmond Identities: Extraordinary Lives/Ordinary People.” Some possible topics include:
- Which role models have?
- What is your identity?
- What is your favorite family tradition?
- What is your favorite traditional family food served at the holidays?
- Have you participated in a community project in Richmond? If so, what did you learn?
Short poems of any form will be accepted. However, we find that haiku is a short-form poetry accessible and appealing to students of all ages; the majority of the 2010 Richmond Writes! entries were haiku. Haiku poetry is a lyrical form of unrhymed short poetry originating from Japan that consists of variable syllables, arranged in three lines, open to different arrangements of syllables in those lines. Because of its brevity, its flexibility, and its ability to express much and suggest more in the fewest possible words, haiku provides beginner as well as advanced writers with quickly satisfying results.
This year, our expanded category of short poetry will allow a variety of poetry works submitted on a single page to be judged. (Normal 12 font with lines skipped for easy copy is expected.) This category is intended for LEAP entries and High School Entries.
BACKGROUND OF 2014 THEME
The 2014 theme for this competition ties to a new mural called Richmond Identities: Extraordinary Lives/Ordinary People. This mural was just installed in June 2013 on the Senior Center wall at 2525 Macdonald Avenue near Civic Center Plaza. The mural’s content came from stories told by the people of Richmond, and includes all aspects of our diverse community. The Richmond Writes! poetry contest builds on this theme, inviting students to tell their own stories about their own identities.
RichmondWrites! is sponsored by the Richmond Arts & Culture Commission. For more information contact Brenda Williams at email@example.com or call the Arts & Culture Division Staff at (510) 620-6952.