The Chicagoland Poetry Contest
is one of the longest-running literary traditions in Chicago.


Poets & Patrons 63rd Annual Chicagoland Poetry Contest

Deadline: September 1, 2019 (postmark)

This competition allows both members, and non-members to compete in various categories. Poetry editors and teachers from across the nation are selected each year to judge all entrants anonymously.

Winners’ lists from previous years ➞


PRIZES: $50, $30, $20, plus three Honorable Mentions in each category, except for Category 1. Members and persons living within 100 miles of Chicago may enter all categories. Other poets may enter only categories 1-13. Entry fee is $12 for members, $15 for non-members, and covers 1 poem per category. If you wish to enter more than one poem in a category, the fee for additional poems is $1 per poem for members, $2 each for non-members. Poets cannot win more than one award per category.


#1 Military Veterans 1st Place: $200, 2nd: $100, 3rd: $50. Three Hon. Mentions.
In Memory of Private Lindberg Stokes, Korean War Veteran.
(open to all) Sponsor: Poets & Patrons Board Member Myron Stokes.

#2 Free Verse In Memory of Gert Rubin and John Dixon.
(open to all) Sponsor: Linda Wallin, Past President of Poets & Patrons.

#3 Formal Verse In Memory of the Poetry Teachers of Her Youth.
(open to all) Sponsor: Poets & Patrons member Kate Hutchinson.

#4 Humorous Poem (open to all) Sponsors: P&P Board Members Judith Tullis and
Curt Vevang.

#5 Social Conscience (open to all)

#6 Miniature Poem In Memory of Margarete Cantrall. (12 Line Max)
(open to all) Sponsors: Board Member Wilda Morris and
Poets & Patrons Member Donna Pucciani.

#7 Nature In Memory of Russell F. W. Smith and Wiltrude Lee Smith.
(open to all) Sponsor: Jared Smith, Past President of
Poets & Patrons.

#8 Poem of (open to all)

#9 What I Learned (open to all)
in Kindergarten

#10 Fairy Tales In Memory of Dr. Lemuel Bowden.
or Myths
(open to all) Sponsors: P&P Members Tom Roby and
Jenene Ravesloot.

#11 Illness and/ In Memory of Mary Oliver.
or Healing
(open to all) Sponsor: Poets & Patrons President Caroline Johnson.

#12 Poem inspired In Memory of Sr. Jean Hughes, OP.
by Walt Whitman
(open to all) Sponsor: Poets & Patrons member John Gordon.

#13 Automobiles In Memory of Her Husband’s 1969 AMX.
(open to all) Sponsor: P&P member Maureen T. Flannery.

#14 Chicago, In Memory of Mary Winklebleck.
Any Aspect
(open only to P&P members and persons living within
100 miles of Chicago).
Sponsor: Barbara Blanks.


Send 2 copies of each poem on standard 8 ½ x 11” paper. Please indicate the category number and title of the poem at top right of both copies. Type ID (name, address, email address, and phone number) at top left of first copy. No ID on second copy. If poem is 2 pages long, please staple top left.

Please organize your entries in order of categories listed here, 1–14.

Poems must be in English, unpublished, and must not have won previous cash awards from Poets & Patrons. Please, no unusual fonts or graphics. You may not enter the same poem in more than one category. Line limit: 60 lines (counting epigraph, section numbers and blank lines between stanza, if any). Miniature poem: 12 lines.

Please remember to enclose your check, made payable to Poets & Patrons. Winners will be posted at An Awards Ceremony will be held in late October near Chicago where winning poems will be read.

Send entries to Caroline Johnson, Poets & Patrons Contest Co-Chair, P.O. Box 469, Willow Springs, IL 60480 USA. Winners will be notified in mid-October 2019. Poet retains all rights. Poems will not be returned. The decisions of judges are final.

Sponsors of the Poets & Patrons contest categories are donors and are not involved in the judging process.