Poetry and Art Competition


Deadline for Applications is February 1st

Eastern Shore Community College is joining other schools in the Virginia Community College System in hosting poet laureate and visual artist competitions for students this fall.  Supported by the VCCS Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Culture, the theme for the competitions is “I Belong.”  Winners of the college poetry contests will be considered for honors as the “Poet Laureate for Virginia’s Community Colleges.”  The work of visual artists will be highlighted at various VCCS events, including the New Horizons conference in April. Eastern Shore Community College students participating could also win cash prizes.

“I am excited because the arts are a magnificent way of communicating with our heads and our hearts,” said Carla Kimbrough, VCCS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, who will work with college coordinators and coordinate the state Poet Laureate competition.

Image of I Belong Digital Drawing 2023

The digital drawing above is entitled “I Belong,” by Colleen Pendry, adjunct art faculty, Education Administrator and Title IX Coordinator at Blue Ridge Community College.

The competitions are open to students who are enrolled at least part-time in adult education, workforce credential, certificate, or degree programs in Summer 2023, Fall 2023, and/or Spring 2024 at a participating Virginia Community College. Dual enrollment or early college students under age 18 must secure parent or guardian permission to participate in the competitions. Participants may enter contests only in the college within their region, even if that extends across state lines, to enable them to accept invitations from the college and its service region.

Students may enter original work for either or both of the competitions at their college and will need to complete an application online.

Competition coordinators have been identified at all of the participating colleges and at ESCC, Dr. Julie Nash will be overseeing the effort. Students may access the ESCC application here.

Those applying for the college Poet Laureate must submit three original poems, including one tied to the theme, and be prepared to give a live performance of the theme-related poem. Students vying for the Luminary award through the visual arts competitions will submit one original piece. Works accepted for the visual arts competition are limited to drawing, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

Questions may be directed to Dr. Julie Nash. Good luck!