About the Program
Poetry Ourselves is a statewide original poetry competition for students in grades 9-12. Whether you write lyrics to music or write sonnets about nature, young people have important things to say. As of August 2023, the Poetry Ourselves Program is being run in partnership with Indiana Humanities. Visit Indiana Humanities to learn more about the program as details become available.
- Students in grades 9-12 in Indiana
- One poem per student
Poetry Ourselves Indiana program reserves the right to not consider poems that involve hate speech, pornographic imagery, or other elements deemed inappropriate. Any poems that are not original or are plagiarized will be disqualified.
Poems will be judged by a panel of qualified professional poets, writers, and field experts. Poems will be judged on the criteria of:
- Creativity - the extent to which the poem is creative and provokes thinking in its reader.
- Poem structure - the extent to which the poem has an intentional, consistent structure that aids in the effectiveness of the poem.
- Poem Engagement - the extent to which the poem conveys an idea, thought, or story through clear imagery, specific, concrete details and fresh use of language.
More information is available in the 2022- 2023 Poetry Ourselves Guidelines.
Award recipients in both spoken word and written categories will:
- Receive a cash prize
- 1st place winners receive a $75 cash prize
- 2nd place winners receive a $50 cash prize
- 3rd place winners receive a $25 cash prize
- Receive Poetry Ourselves award certificates
- Be honored at the Poetry Out Loud award ceremony in March 2022
- Receive a signed book from a published poet
- For original poems, have their poem entered into the INverse Indiana Poetry Archive
- Honorable mention award recipients will also receive a certificate of recognition and may have their poems accepted into the INverse poetry archive.
- Katelyn Saul, 2022 Written Category State Champion
- Kate Jones, 2022 Written Category 2nd Place Winner
- Cory David, 2022 Written Category 3rd Place Winner
- Ashton Crosley, Spoken Word Category State Champion
- Hallie Woodring, Spoken Word Category 2nd Place Winner
- Abigail Paul, Spoken Word Category 3rd Place Winner
- Arnav Gupta, 2022 Written Category State Champion
- Stella Grable, 2022 Written Category 2nd Place Winner
- Perrena Stockard, 2022 Written Category 3rd Place Winner
- Elizabeth Haskett, Spoken Word Category State Champion
- Gus Hagedorn, Spoken Word Category 2nd Place Winner
- Riley Bauges, Spoken Word Category 3rd Place Winner
- Jayden Baskin, 2021 State Champion
- Grace Choi, 2021 2nd Place Winner
- Iris Kreilkamp, 2021 3rd Place Winner
For information and questions, contact the Poetry Ourselves State Coordinator Stephanie Haines at email@example.com or (317) 450-9973.
Interested in taking part in the statewide poetry recitation competition? Check out Poetry Out Loud.