BSSD District Poetry Contest 2021

BSSD District Poetry Contest 2021
Posted on 02/03/2021
BSSD District Poetry Contest

“Poetry is what in a poem makes you laugh, cry, prickle, be silent, makes your toenails twinkle, makes you want to do this or that or nothing, makes you know that you are alone in the unknown world, that your bliss and suffering is forever shared and forever all your own.” Dylan Thomas

No other generation has your experience of living during a pandemic in 2020-21. Everything that is a part of your ordinary day is extraordinary, and people from future generations will want to hear about your ideas, emotions, and experiences.

Be a part of documenting this unique time in history by writing a poem and submitting it to the Blue Springs District Poetry Contest!

How do I start?

“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.” Robert Frost

If you keep a writer’s notebook, mine your writing for inspiration and topic ideas.

If you need to start from scratch, brainstorm ideas. Try one of these methods if you like:

  • Pretend to be a drop of rain, a color in the rainbow, your pet or an interesting animal, and describe the world from the viewpoint of the object or animal you personify.
  • List all of the details of a place important to you, and then think of emotions that place evokes. Write a poem about the place and emotions you associate with it.
  • Recall an important life experience that changed you or your view of the world: explore that experience and its impact on you in your poem.
  • Think about well-known people and recent events you’ve followed in the media, sports, politics: write about one that inspires you or evokes a strong emotion.


If you like to read to be inspired, visit these website link resources:  poets.org, poetryfoundation.org, poetryoutloud.org, or find Amanda Gorman’s reading at the inauguration or the Super Bowl on YouTube to hear a young, current poet share her work.

Want to know what local poets are writing?

Visit the Missouri Arts Council Website to read some of Missouri Poet Laureate Karen Craigo’s work. High school students might want to search the Missouri Poetry Out Loud Contest website link for past winners of Missouri’s Poetry Out Loud contest.

What type of poem may I submit?

Enter any type of original poetry; however, please be aware that most formula poems such as limericks, cinquains or definition poems do not usually win because they show little variety.

Judges tend to look for imagery, figurative language, originality, and meaningful topics in the selections for finalists.

How do I submit my poem?

Select the submission link and complete a form to submit your work. Submit your entry by midnight on March 2. Entries will be timestamped. If the poem comes in after the deadline, it cannot be judged.

May I submit several poems?

You may submit no more than two poems. Each poem must be submitted separately.

Who can enter?

This contest is open to all BSSD students in grades 6-12 and all BSSD staff.

Are there other rules of participation?

Do not include pictures or graphics with your poem. No references to your name, your current teachers’ names, or your building can be included in the poem. The poem must be your original work.

What happens if I am a finalist?

You will be notified by March 12, and you will receive information on how to record your poem and post it on FlipGrid. Exact placement of winning poems will be announced on Flipgrid, date TBD. All winning poems will be published and shared digitally.

Awards are given for each grade level, 6-12. There is also a grand prize winner for both the middle school and high school divisions. The high school grand prize winner will receive a book scholarship for college (seniors only) or a book award ($100), and the middle school grand prize winner will receive a book award ($50). Teachers of the grand prize winners will also receive a book donation ($50) for their classrooms.

Whom do I contact if I have questions? Email Ms. Brock at lbrock@bssd.net

Scholarships and awards sponsored by the Blue Springs Education Foundation