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MUSC Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest

Currently Seeking Sponsors for the 2022 Contest (Opens Monday, Jan. 17, 2022)

This contest honors acclaimed Charleston native, teacher, and civil rights activist Septima P. Clark for her dedication to service, education, and equality.  The contest is open to South Carolina youth, with categories for elementary school (grades K-5), middle school (grades 6-8), and high school (grades 9-12) students from January 17 through March 15.  Finalists will be announced in April 2022 and are invited to read their poems at a virtual Awards Reception on April 29.  This year’s theme is “While We Breathe, We Hope" which is the South Carolina state motto.  Youth poets may write about their inspiration and aspirations for the future.

This contest is being coordinated by the MUSC Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity and the MUSC College of Health Professions in collaboration with Charleston’s First Poet Laureate, Marcus Amaker. Our partners include the MUSC Libraries, the MUSC Arts in Healing program, the MUSC Humanities Office, and the CHP Student Diversity Leadership Council.

We are currently seeking community partners and sponsors for this year’s contest. 
Opportunities for sponsorship include contributing:

  • A prize for the winning youth poets (Gift Cards, Award Items, Donated Services)

  • Sponsorship for the event’s keynote speaker

Benefits to community partners and sponsoring organizations include:

  • Invitation to receive recognition at the virtual Awards Reception on April 29, 2022;

  • A list of sponsors will be made available to all MUSC Students, Faculty, and Staff during and after the event through our website, campus newspaper, and social media.

  • Sponsors for contributions valued at $100 or more will be recognized as “Featured Sponsors.”

Sponsorship contributions may be submitted by mail to the address below by April 2, 2022:

Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest Sponsorship

c/o Dr. Cristina Smith

151A Rutledge Avenue, MSC 962

Charleston, SC 29425

For questions or more information, please contact Dr. Cristina Smith at or 843-792-0701. 

We thank you for your consideration and for your support of South Carolina’s youth poets!