“It sounded as if the Streets were running / And then — the Streets stood still —/ Eclipse — was all we could see at the Window / And Awe — was all we could feel.” –Emily Dickinson, 1896
Poets, shine a literary light during 2024’s total solar eclipse! In the afternoon on April 8, 2024, the eclipse will arc across the southern half of Indiana. Indiana Humanities is looking to select an official poet of the April 8, 2024, eclipse, an event that will not happen again until 2044.
For generations, humans have witnessed eclipses and worked to make meaning from these fleeting events. First spiritual meanings were ascribed, then symbolic. Though we’ve learned the science behind the eerie occurrences, eclipses still inspire artists and writers to depict these moments that evoke wonder at the natural world and the human’s place in it.
We invite Hoosier poets everywhere to submit an original poem inspired by this unique event. The poet who submits a poem that best reflects the significance of the eclipse will receive a cash prize of $500, the opportunity to read the poem during an eclipse watch party in Indianapolis, and have their work featured on Indiana Humanities’ website and social media. A second-place prize of $200 and third-place prize of $100 will be awarded, also with the opportunity to read at the April 8 event.
Submissions are due Feb. 9, 2024. A panel of judges will choose the winner and runners-up. Winners will be notified by March 1, 2024, so that the poem and poet can be incorporated into the many special festivities surrounding the eclipse programming.
- Any Indiana resident may submit a poem. Please limit one submission per person.
- Poems must not exceed 35 lines or 350 words.
- If selected, the poet retains all copyright in the work and shall receive authorship credit in connection with the work. Although the poet retains all copyrights, Indiana Humanities shall be given temporary, limited-use rights for the poem to promote and connect audiences to the 2024 eclipse.
How to Submit
Send an email with your poem as a PDF attachment to Megan Telligman, director of programs, at email@example.com. Please include “Eclipse Poetry Contest” in the subject line of the email.
The PDF of your poem should include the title but no identifying information (e.g., your name).
In the body of the email, include your name, address, phone number, email address, age and a short (one to three sentences) explanation of why you were inspired to write your poem. (This will not be included in the judging process — it’s simply for promotional purposes.)
The deadline is Feb. 9, 2024, at midnight. Winners will be notified by March 1, 2024.