March 27, 2012

Children’s poetry contest planned for April

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Could your child be the next Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman?  Here’s the chance to find out.

In celebration of Saluki pride and in honor of April as National Poetry Month, Southern Illinois University Carbondale is inviting the children of all current and former students to participate in a poetry contest.  The contest is open to children in grades two through 12 and the poems may be any style as long as they are no more than 24 lines long.  The theme is “Big Things Within Reach.”

“The Office of Non-Traditional Student Services is pleased to collaborate with Morris Library and the SIU Alumni Association to reach out to our students with children, current and alumni,” said Deborah Barnett, coordinator of Non-Traditional Student Services/Single Parent Programs.  “SIU Carbondale knows that, for our students, big things are within reach.  We believe it is never too early to begin reaching children with the message of the importance of a college education.  More than 1,500 of our current students have children and many of our alumni are parents as well, so we thought National Poetry Month would be a great time to invite children to dream about their own futures by submitting poetry that speaks to the big things within reach.” 

The contest age groups are:  grades 2-3, grades 4-5, grades 6-8 and grades 9-12.  You can find the entry form and details online at  Submit poems between April 1 and 15 for the competition. 

Winners in each age group will get ribbons and the opportunity to recite their poetry at a special awards presentation on the SIU Carbondale campus and see their original works posted at Morris Library and online at  The reception and awards ceremony will be at 2 p.m. on April 29 at the John C. Guyon Auditorium in Morris Library. 

For more information, call 618/453-7521.