2018 Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards Winners

Below is a listing of the winners and honorable mentions, along with a listing of their poems.

Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards 2018

Illinois Humanities and the Poetry Foundation are partnering in 2018 to host the second year of the Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards  (GBYPA) The statewide contest was administered by the Illinois Poet Laureate from 1970 until her passing in 2000 and revived in 2017 in celebration of the centennial of her birth.

Here are the basics on this year’s contest:

  • This contest is open to young people from Kindergarten through 12th grade across the state of Illinois.
  • Students can be at schools (public, private, home, etc.) or other institutions.
  • There is a limit of one poem per student.
  • Poems cannot exceed 16 lines for poems submitted by K-5th graders and cannot exceed 50 lines for 6-12th graders.
  • Students can enter on their own or have a parent or teacher submit their entry.
  • The deadline for submissions is Sunday, June 17, 11:59 PM.
  • Contest winners will be notified by Monday, July 30th.
  • Winners will be honored at an event to take place at the Poetry Foundation on Saturday, August 25th.
  • All entries must be the original work of the student.

Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards 2017

In 2017 Illinois Humanities partnered with Our Miss Brooks 100 and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts to revitalize the Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards.

Read the 2017 winning poems.

Read the 2017 honorable mentions poems.

View a recap of the 2017 Awards Ceremony.

Learn more about the history of the Gwendolyn Brook Youth Poetry Awards.

The 2017 Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry awards was funded in part by The Chicago Community Trust, the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, and the Poetry Foundation.