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The Wisconsin People & Ideas Poetry Contest

Entry fee: $8 members, $10 non-members (three poems per submission)
Deadline: December 1, 2016

First place winners of the WP&I Poetry Contest will receive one-week artist residency at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts in Mineral Point. Winners will also receive Winners will also receive $500 (first place), $250 (second place), and $100 (third place) and an opportunity to read their work at the 2017 Wisconsin Book Festival. First- through third-place winning stories will also be published in print and online issues of Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine.


  • Poets must be age 18 or older and reside or attend school in Wisconsin.
  • Poems previously published in print are not eligible. All work must be original. Any style or theme is welcome.
  • Poets may include up to three (3) poems per contest submission. You may enter more than one submission of up to three (3) poems each, but additional submissions must be accompanied by a separate entry fee and cover letter. (See Manuscript Requirements below.)
  • If you have questions about eligibility, please contact editor Jason A. Smith.

Manuscript Requirements

  • No poem may be longer than one page.
  • The poems must be anonymous. Do not include your name or identifying information anywhere on the poem in order to ensure submissions are judged blindly. Poems must be accompanied by a cover letter bearing the following:
  • Poem title/s,
  • Your name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • E-mail address. 

Print or online submissions will be accepted. 

  • Online submissions must be in PDF format. This will preserve the styles, line breaks, and other formatting in your poem, preserving the poems intended presentation. 

Electronic Submissions

Submit Online Here

Print Submissions

  • Submissions must be post marked, date stamped, or hand-delivered to the Wisconsin Academy by 11:59 pm on December 1, 2016, to be considered.
  • Submissions received or postmarked after the deadline will not be considered and the entry fee will be retained to cover handling.
  • Keep a copy of your poems! Entries will be recycled, not returned. Do not send an SASE. If you want to save paper, consider an online submission. 

Entries may be mailed or hand-delivered to 

Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
1922 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53726

Contest winners will be announced by June 2017

A general contest announcement will be made to the public and on our website. First- through third-place winning poems—along with another selected by editor Jason A. Smith—will appear in the Summer 2017 issue Wisconsin People & Ideas. Ten honorable mention poems selected by the lead judge will be published in the subsequent issues of the magazine. 

Our lead poetry judge is Melissa Range. 

Melissa Range is the author of Horse and Rider (Texas Tech University Press, 2010) and Scriptorium: Poems (Beacon Press, 2016). A professor of English at Lawrence University, Range earned a PhD in English and Creative Writing from the University of Missouri and an MFA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University. The Tennessee native earned a BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Tennessee, and also holds a Master of Theological Studies from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She lives in Appleton.

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Wisconsin Academy Administrative Offices and Steenbock Gallery
1922 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53726
Phone: 608-263-1692

James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608-265-2500