Claudia Emerson Teen Poetry Contest

The submission period is over. Thank you to all who submitted!

2024 marks the CRRL’s 21st year hosting this event, named in memory of Claudia Emerson, former judge, and advocate for our teen poets.

Winners are awarded cash prizes and will be invited to read their work at Claudia Emerson Teen Poetry Night. Entries will be judged by local poets Laura Bylenok and David Anthony Sam.

Cash prizes donated by the
Friends of the Library

Claudia Emerson, 1957-2014

We would not be celebrating our annual Teen Poetry Contest if not for the help and guidance of Claudia Emerson, a 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.

In 2022, Claudia was named as a Changemaker in the Virginia Women in History program.

Past Teen Poetry Contest Winners

Past Teen Poetry Winners

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