Open Today: 10AM — 5PM Become a Member

2024 National Poetry Month Ekphrastic Poetry Contest

Mar 08, 10:00 AM–6:00 PM

Poetry month is just around the corner! We've partnered with local poets and other art institutions to invite you to draw inspiration from artworks. Submit a poem written in response to Yen Yen Vase with Landscape Decoration, from our collection. If you win, your poem will be shared in April to celebrate National Poetry Month.

What is an Ekphrastic Poem? An ekphrastic poem is based on a piece of art. These poems take an existing piece of visual art, and use written words to describe and expand on the theme of that work of art. Many of these poems explore hidden meanings or an underlying story.

Contest Information and Guidelines:

  • Three categories: Adults; Youth (ages 13–17); Youth (under 12)
  • Contest opens: February 5, 2024
  • Submission deadline:  March 8, 2024
  • There is no entry fee.

What & How to Submit:

  1. Up to two (2) poems (each a maximum of 15 lines including title) written in response to the art. Poems should express how the art puzzles, moves, frightens, enlightens you, etc. Please do not put your name or identifying info on the poem. Do not include artwork image on poem or in email.
  2. Attach one poem per email in a PDF or Microsoft Word doc or docx to Subject line should read: Ekphrastic Poetry Contest Submission (YOUTH or ADULT) – (Title of Selected Artwork).
  3. In your email include: your name, city & state, phone and email. Youth entries must include age.

SAVE THE DATE! April 27, 2024: Ekphrastic Celebration Reading by winning poets at Ruby City at 10 a.m.

Judges: Jim LaVilla Havelin, 2024 National Poetry Month coordinator, Eddie Vega, award-winning poet, and Linda Simone, poet, artist, educator, will select up to three poems per artwork for each category.

Winners will be notified via email by March 21 and must attach their winning poem(s) as a PDF in an email to with email subject line: (ADULT or YOUTH) Winning Poem PDF – (Your Name). Winning poems will be posted at online sites throughout April, National Poetry Month.

2024 Artworks from Other Participating Institutions:

  • The Briscoe Western Art Museum: Sunday Riding at Mission San Jose, 2014. Gladys Roldan-de-Moras (b. 1965). Oil on linen. 36 x 48 in. 42 ¾ x 54 ½ in. framed. Briscoe Western Art Museum Permanent Collection. Gift of Marrs McLean Bowman in Memory of His Mother Ruth McLean Bowman Bowers. © Gladys Roldan-de-Moras 2014.
  • The McNay Art Museum: Houses on the Hill (1900-1906).  Paul Cézanne, French, 1839-1906. Oil on canvas. 23 3/8 x 31 3/8” (59.4 x 79.7cm). Bequest of Marion Koogler McNay. 1950.23.
  • Ruby City: Ultimate Joy, 2001, Jim Hodges. Wood, metal panel, ceramic sockets and light bulbs. 32 x 64 in. © Jim Hodges, courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels. Linda Pace Foundation Collection, Ruby City, San Antonio, Texas.
  • The Witte Museum: Mapa de la Provincia de Texas, 1822. Simon Bourne, copied from Stephen F. Austin’s map. Pen and Ink on Paper. Gift of Mrs. R. W. Morrison.

Contest guidelines also posted at:

Yen Yen Vase with Landscape Decoration. China. Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1661-1722). Porcelain with cobalt blue underglaze. San Antonio Museum of Art, gift of Lenora and Walter F. Brown. 2008.21.24.

Become a Member

SAMA is more than a museum; it’s a place to experience art and explore the world in new ways.