The Wisconsin People & Ideas Poetry Contest |
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The Wisconsin People & Ideas Poetry Contest

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Entry fee: $10 Academy members / $15 non-members

Entry deadline: March 15, 2022

Contest judge: Rebecca Dunham

First-place winners of the Wisconsin People & Ideas Poetry Contest will receive a one-week artist residency at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts in Mineral Point. Winners will receive $500 (first place), $250 (second place), and $100 (third place) and read their work at the 2022 Wisconsin Book Festival. First- through third-place winning poems 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. All submissions must be original and previously unpublished. One entry consists of up to 3 poems. You may submit more than one entry; each entry must include its own cover page and entry fee.

Current Wisconsin Academy staff, board, and Foundation board members are not eligible. If you have questions about eligibility, please contact editor Christopher Chambers.

Submission Guidelines

  • Cover page with: poem titles, author's name, address, phone number, email address
  • Typed, single-spaced, one (1) poem per page, up to three (3) poems
  • 12-point serif typeface (Times New Roman, Garamond, etc.) 
  • 1” margins 
  • 45 lines maximum per poem
  • Do not include your name on the manuscript pages. 

Print or electronic submissions will be accepted. 

Electronic Submissions

Electronic submissions and cover page must all be included in a single PDF file (PDFs preserve the styles, line breaks, and other formatting in your poem).

Submit Online Here

Print Submissions

Print Submissions must be post marked, date stamped, or hand-delivered to the Wisconsin Academy by 11:59 pm on March 15, 2022. Submissions postmarked or hand-delivered 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 a SASE. If you want to save paper, please 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 July 2022.

All submissions are judged blindly and the selection of the winners is based solely on the criteria of the contest judge. First- through third-place winning poems—along with another selected by editor Christopher Chambers—will appear in the Fall 2022 issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas. Honorable mention poems selected by the lead judge will be published in subsequent issues of the magazine.

The judge for the 2022 poetry contest is Rebecca Dunham, the author of five books of poetry. Her most recent book, Strike, was the 2018 New Issues Poetry & Prose Editor’s Choice. Her first book, The Miniature Room, won the 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize. Her second book, The Flight Cage, was a Tupelo Press Open Reading Selection. Glass Armonica was awarded the 2013 Lindquist and Vennum Poetry Prize and was published by Milkweed Editions. In 2017, Cold Pastoral was also published by Milkweed. Dunham’s chapbook, Fascicle, is available from dancing girl press. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. Her poems have been published by journals such as AGNI, The Southern Review, Kenyon Review, FIELD, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Antioch Review. She is Professor of English at UW-Milwaukee.

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Wisconsin Academy Offices 
1922 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53726
Phone: 608.733.6633


James Watrous Gallery 
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608.733.6633 x25