Classic Catalog

53rd Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition

About the Annual Kent County Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition

The Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition was started in 1968 by poet James Allen at the urging of John Hunting, the founder of the Dyer-Ives Foundation, 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.

Submissions are accepted April 1 – April 30, 2021.
Winners will be announced in June.

Winners selected in different categories have their poems published in Voices, receive a cash award, and participate in a reading.

Funded by:

 

Eligibility

  • Open to Kent County, Michigan residents of all ages.
  • Open to students attending classes within Kent County, including GVSU.
  • Free to enter.
  • One poem per person will be accepted. The poem must be original and unpublished.
  • Submissions are accepted April 1 – April 30, 2021.

Resources for Teachers

Divisions and Awards

Elementary School | Grades K – 2
1st Place: $25 & publication
2nd Place: publication

Elementary School | Grades 3 – 4
1st Place: $25 & publication
2nd Place: publication

Middle School | Grades 5 – 6
1st Place: $50 & publication
2nd Place: publication

Middle School | Grades 7 – 8
1st Place: $50 & publication
2nd Place: publication

High School | Grades 9 – 10
1st Place: $75 & publication
2nd Place: publication

High School | Grades 11 – 12
1st Place: $75 & publication
2nd Place: publication

Undergraduate
1st Place: $100 & publication
2nd Place: $75 & publication

Adult
1st Place: $150 & publication
2nd Place: $125 & publication
3rd Place: $100 & publication

Questions?

If you have questions about the competition, email us or call 616.988.5400.

Voices Publication

Voices is published annually to highlight the winners of the Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition. Check out the winning poems from 2020.

2021 National Judge

Safia Elhillo

Safia Elhillo is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), which received the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and an Arab American Book Award, Girls That Never Die (forthcoming from One World/Random House), and the novel in verse Home is not a Country (Make Me A World/Random House, 2021). With Fatimah Asghar, she is co-editor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019).

Sudanese by way of Washington, DC, Safia received the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry Prize, and was listed in Forbes Africa’s 2018 “30 Under 30.” Her work has been translated into several languages and her commissions include Under Armour, Cuyana, and ILIA Beauty. In 2018, she was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Safia is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and lives in Oakland.

Photograph by Aris Theotokatos