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Women's Lifestyle Magazine

Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition Launches February 1

Jan 28, 2022 11:12AM ● By Two Eagles Marcus

GRAND RAPIDS (January 23, 2022) The Grand Rapids Public Library is proud to announce the 54th annual Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition. Open to Kent County residents or students, poets can submit one original, unpublished poem between February 1-29, 2022. Free to enter, the competition offers cash prizes as well as publication in Voices and the opportunity to participate in a public, free-to-attend reading held during Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts in June 2022.

The Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition was started in 1968 to encourage excellence in writing and to provide recognition for local work of high quality. The annual contest is open to poets ages 5 through adult who reside in Kent County. 

Local poets judge the first tier of the competition. They decide which poems continue on to the national judge, who makes the final decisions. Past national judges include William Stafford, Gwendolyn Brooks, Anne Sexton, James Wright, Diane Wakoski, Robert Bly, Naomi Shihab Nye, former United States Poet Laureate Billy Collins, as well as former Grand Rapids Poet Laureates, Linda Nemec Foster and Patricia Clark.

The 2022 National Judge is José Olivarez. Heis the son of Mexican immigrants. His debut book of poems, Citizen Illegal, was a finalist for the PEN/ Jean Stein Award and a winner of the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize.

Kent County residents can submit one original, unpublished poem to the Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition during the month of February. Divided into eight categories that span all ages, the Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition offers $875 in prizes to winning poems, as well as publication and a public reading held during Grand Rapids' Festival of the Arts in June.

Guidelines for Submitting a Poem

  • Open to Kent County, Michigan residents of all ages and students attending classes within Kent County including GVSU and Kent ISD.

  • Submissions will be accepted February 1 – 29, 2022. 

  • It is free to enter.

  • One poem per person will be accepted. The poem must be original and unpublished. For complete submission guidelines, visit

Supported by a grant from the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation-Dyer-Ives Foundation Poetry Fund, the competition is proud to carry on the mission to encourage excellence in writing and provide recognition for local work of high quality.

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