National Poetry Month Contest

Apache Pitch Lined Basket
The Apache people of the American Southwest arrived in the area abut A. D. 1100, migrating from western Canada. The Apache were mostly hunter-gatherers whose territories ranged from western Texas, southern New Mexico and Arizona, and Northern Chihuahua.  Some bands practiced limited agriculture but they were best known for their mobility and fierce defense of their territorial homeland.  Apache Indians closely wove basket jars and covered them with pine pitch to make them water-tight as they did not make pottery for such purposes.  These baskets were extremely durable and were highly functional given the mobile life-style of the hunter-gatherer Apache.


Welcome, poets from San Antonio and South Texas! You are invited to view artwork images from four participating San Antonio arts institutions as inspiration for poems written in response to the images.

Deadline for Submissions: Midnight, March 20, 2021. There is no entry fee.

Where the Artworks Live: Thanks to these art institutions for sharing artwork from their collections for purposes of this contest. Their images and the contest guidelines can be found on the following links:

The McNay Art Museum, Sarah #9 , Heidi McFall,

San Antonio Museum of ArtMama Ocllo, First Coya (unknown artist)

The Witte Museum, Apache Pitch Lined Basket,

Where Artworks Can Also Be Viewed: Images and contest guidelines will also be posted on these sites:

Arts Alive San Antonio

Bihl Haus Arts

Gemini Ink:

San Antonio Public Library

What to Submit: Submit up to two (2) poems (each no more than 15 lines plus title) written in response to the posted images. Poets should not simply describe the image they see; they should also share how the image affects them (puzzling, touching,  frightening, enlightening, etc.).

How To Submit: In an email to include: your name, address, phone and email, and attach one poem per email  in a Microsoft Word doc. No name / identifying info should be on the poem. Each poem must be sent in a separate email; the email subject line should read: Ekphrastic Poetry Contest Submission – (Title of Artwork).

The Judging: Up to 3 winning poems per artwork will be selected by the judges (Jim LaVilla-Havelin, National Poetry Month Coordinator; Octavio Quintanilla, 2018-2020 San Antonio Poet Laureate; and Linda Simone; poet, artist, educator) and shared throughout April, National Poetry Month. Winners will be notified by email no later than March 25, 2021.