Teen Poetry Contest

Claudia Emerson Teen Poetry Contest

April 1 - 15, 2016

Claudia Emerson Teen Poetry Contest

Each year we celebrate National Poetry Month in April with our Teen Poetry Contest. 2016 marks our thirteenth year hosting this event and we are proud to announce the renaming of the poetry contest to the Claudia Emerson Teen Poetry Contest in memory of Claudia Emerson, former judge and advocate for our teen poets.

Teens in grades 7-12 from Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania, and Westmoreland, are invited to submit up to three original poems. Out-of-region library cardholders may also enter. Entries will be accepted between April 1 - 15, 2016, and winners will be selected from participants in two categories -- grades 7-9 and grades 10-12.

Winners will be chosen anonymously by Amanda Rutstein, Adjunct English Instructor and Assistant Director of the Writing Center at the University of Mary Washington.

Winners are awarded cash prizes and invited to read their work at Claudia Emerson Teen Poetry Night Reception at Headquarters Library, Thursday, May 19, 7:30-8:30.

In addition to the Claudia Emerson Teen Poetry Contest, this year the CRRL is having it’s first Visual Poetry Art Show, a non-juried exhibit of art works by artists aged 18 and up. All the artworks displayed will be inspired by poetry. The show will be on display from May 17- June 30, in the atrium and theater.


Claudia Emerson Teen Poetry Night Reception

Celebrate National Poetry Month by joining us at Headquarters Library on Thursday, May 19, 7:30-8:30, for poetry readings by the winners of our Claudia Emerson Teen Poetry Contest.

Refreshments will be served.

Sign-up begins April 1. For grades 7 to adult.

Claudia Emerson, 1957-2014

Claudia Emerson

We would not be celebrating our annual Teen Poetry Contest if not for the help and guidance of Claudia Emerson, former professor at the University of Mary Washington and a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, who also served as Virginia's Poet Laureate. She judged the Teen Poetry Contest and hosted Teen Poetry Night from its inception, encouraging countless young poets and gently shaping the event as it grew to over 300 entries. Before each winning poem was read, Claudia shared what it was about that poem the moved her. Her goal was to empower the young poets, and her comments showed the depth of thought and attention she had given their works.

Claudia's talent as a poet was equaled by her generosity of spirit and passion for developing young poets.