25th Statewide Poetry Contest

Entry Period: December 1, 2019 –  February 14, 2020

The Statewide Poetry Contest is a celebration of poetry writing in Alaska and invites participation from writers of all ages, elementary school and up. With a reading in April, during National Poetry Month, the contest aims to encourage, publicize and reward the writing of high quality poetry in our great state.

Winners of the contest, who will be announced in late March, will receive an invitation to share their poetry during a reading alongside other poetry contest awardees and will record their poems with KUAC for broadcast on channel FM 89.9.

Divisions:                                             Awards:

Adult                                1st Place $150 | 2nd Place $100 | 3rd Place $50
High School                    1st Place $100 | 2nd Place $50   | 3rd Place $25
Middle School                1st Place $50   | 2nd Place $30   | 3rd Place $15
Elementary School       1st Place $50   | 2nd Place $30   | 3rd Place $15

Entry Fee:

Adults – $4 per poem
Elementary, Middle, and High School – $3 per poem
Class Entries (min. 10 poems) – $1 per poem

Judge: Ishmael Hope

ishmael_hope - 1

Ishmael Hope, an Inupiaq and Tlingit poet, actor and Indigenous scholar, served as the lead writer for the video game Never Alone (Upper One Games). He has published two poetry collections including Rock Piles Alone the Eddy (Ishmael Reed Publications) and played the character Atka in a feature film, Frontera Azul: The Blue Frontier (Patria Productions).

Recent publications include Poetry Magazine, Indian Country magazine and Native Voices: Indigenous American Poetry, Craft and Conversations (Tupelo Press).



  • Open to Alaska residents only
  • Submission are limited to 4 poems per writer
  • Poems must be original, unpublished work
  • Poems must be typed and submitted as separate 8.5”x11” pdf documents
  • May not exceed 100 lines in length (to exclude title and spaces)
  • Include the poem’s title on the first line of the document
    • Writer’s name must not appear on any poems
  • File name for poems must include poem title and submitter’s division, i.e. poemtitle_division.pdf (examples: bluevase_adult or pony_elementary)
    • Writer’s name must not appear on document title

Any poems not adhering to the above instructions will be disqualified.

For questions, email literary@fairbanksarts.org.

Individual Submissions (all categories):

Click here to enter your poetry now!


Bulk Submissions for Elementary, Middle, or High School

(to be submitted by teachers only):

Click here to submit your students’ poetry now! 

Click here to download the PDF flyer for the Statewide Poetry Contest

Stay up to date on other Fairbanks Arts literary offerings and opportunities, as well as updates regarding the 2020 statewide poetry contest by signing up for our e-newsletter.

Fairbanks Arts programs are made possible by individual and corporate contributions, the City of Fairbanks Hotel/Motel Bed Tax, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska State Council on the Arts and Fountainhead Development, Inc.