Posted on August 26, 2021
| 4:37 p.m.
The Santa Barbara Public Library invites poets of all ages to enter the 2021 Santa Barbara Reads Poetry Contest. The winning poems will be exhibited at the Santa Barbara Reads launch event in November as part of the Poetry Walk experience. from the library.
Santa Barbara Reads is the Santa Barbara Public Library’s annual community reading program. SB Reads 2021 invites the community to read the same book at the same time to connect with each other, engage in discussions on important issues, and examine the world from a perspective other than their own.
This year’s selection is “An American Sunrise” by American poet Joy Harjo. The book explores the pasts, presents, and potential futures of Indigenous peoples in the United States, and invites readers to unpack the ongoing impact of American colonialism.
As part of SB Reads programming, local poets are invited to write their own poem with the title “An American Sunrise”, inspired by Harjo’s title poem, which can be read at https://poets.org/poem /american-sunrise .
Poems can be entered into one of three categories: children under 12; teenager, 12-18 years old; or adult, aged 18 and over.
Poems need not reflect the direct subject of Harjo’s poem, but should answer the question: If you wrote a poem called “An American Sunrise”, what would it be?
Poets are encouraged to consider adding the following elements to their poems: at least three images; a reference to their cultural history; and a wish, hope, or spell for the future, all of which are embedded in various forms in Harjo’s original poem. Note that these elements are not mandatory, but are offered as creative suggestions for inspiration.
Submit entries at this link.
Submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. on September 24.
Submissions must be 30 lines or less.
Submissions must include “An American Sunrise” in the title and include “After Joy Harjo” as the subtitle.
Submissions must include both a PDF document and a Word document.
Submissions must include the poet’s first and last name in the file name.
Submissions will remain anonymous to the judges and must not include the poet’s name inside the paper itself.
Poets must live, work, or be enrolled in a school in Santa Barbara County to be eligible.
Winning poems will be displayed on signs at SB Reads events and should be approximately 30 lines or less to properly fit the signs.
18-year-olds who are still in high school can submit a poem in either the teen or adult categories.
As Harjo writes from her own cultural and lived experiences, contest entrants are encouraged to do the same.
For more information, contact Lisa Neubert at [email protected] or 805-564-5605.
NEA Big Read is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest and the Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation.