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How Do You Express Yourself?

Submit your original poem to the 25th annual Express Yourself! Youth Poetry Competition. Finalists will be recognized at a ceremony during National Poetry Month in April and have their poems published in an anthology.


  • 60 finalists will be invited to an awards ceremony on April 22, 2021 and have their work published by the Dallas Public Library in a bound anthology.
  • One finalist will be selected to receive the Joe M. and Doris Russell Dealey Fund Award of Achievement and one winner will be selected for each of the following grade categories: 2-5, 6-8, 9-12.
  • All qualified poems will be judged on originality and structure.
  • All qualified poems will be judged separately in the following grade categories: 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, and 10-12.
  • All finalists will be notified by email by March 31, 2020.

RULES ........ Please read carefully.

  1. Poems must be the writer’s own work and may not be submitted without the poet’s knowledge and consent.
  2. All poets must be in grades 2-12 and live in the City of Dallas or attend a school within Dallas city limits.
  3. All entries must be received or postmarked (if mailed) by January 31, 2021. No entries will be returned.
  4. Entries must not exceed 20 lines.
  5. Only one entry per poet.
  6. Poems accepted in English and in Spanish.
  7. All entries become the property of The Friends of the Dallas Public Library & Dallas Public Library.
  8. For complete rules, visit www.dallaslibrary.org/poetry

Poems may also be dropped off at any Dallas Public Library location. Attach the completed entry form found at www.dallaslibrary.org/poetry


For more information, contact: poetry@dallaslibrary.org

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.