Writers in Northeastern Ohio are asked to turn their thoughts and their pens to Cleveland and compete in the first ever Best Cleveland Poem Competition during April, National Poetry Month.
Submitted poems must be themed on some aspect of Cleveland. This may include Cleveland sports (Browns, Cavaliers, Indians, OSU, etc.), politics, landmarks (Severance Hall, Tower City, West Side Market, etc.), local celebrities, or personal memories and associations with Cleveland. Poems must be a minimum of 30 lines and a maximum of 200 lines, and poems containing profanity and/or inappropriate language or topics will be disqualified.
All poems should be submitted to initial judge Ray McNiece, English department lecturer at John Carroll University and award-winning national poet, at email@example.com. Ray will select the Top Ten Best Cleveland Poems. These top ten poets will perform at the competition’s concluding event for the grand prize.
A host of local celebrity judges will judge the final competition at the end of April. Final competition date, location and judges are TBA. The final competition will feature an opening performance by Ray McNiece and the band Tongue in Groove, an open mike session and the performance and judging of the Top Ten Best Cleveland Poems.
Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers. First place will receive a plaque of recognition as the Best Cleveland Poem winner and $100. Second place will receive $50. Third place will receive $25. All winners will also receive additional items from the venue.
This event is being sponsored by Tim Misny.
Update: The Cleveland Poetry Contest final competition will be at Willoughby Brewing Company this Sunday (May 5). It's kicked off with Ray McNiece at 7:30, the open mike at 7:45, and then the Cleveland poets at 8:30pm. It will be epic! Be there!
More imporant information (from Ray McNiece April 3):
- you can submit up to three poems.
- deadline is april 21st;
- the top ten poets via email submission must attend the final "out loud" reading which will be judged, slam style, by a panel of celebrity judges.
- All poets are welcome to read in the open mic portion of the program. It will be held most likely at the Willoughby Brewing Company on may 5th, 4 till 7