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MUSC Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest

Welcome to the 4th Annual Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest Page

Información en Español/Information in Spanish

We are pleased to announce the 4th Annual MUSC Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest & Awards Ceremony.  This annual contest honors acclaimed Charleston native, teacher, and "Mother of the Movement" Septima P. Clark (1898-1987) for her dedication to service, education, and equality. As a recipient of the 1979 Living Legacy Award from President and 2002 Nobel Prize Winner Jimmy Carter, she was known for developing literacy and citizenship workshops to promote civil rights and equality.  She was also recognized by the State of South Carolina in 1982 with South Carolina's highest civilian award known as the Order of the Palmetto.

This is the fourth year for this collaboration with Charleston Poet Laureate Marcus Amaker. The contest theme is "While We Breathe, We Hope."  This theme is the motto of the state of South Carolina. Poetry submissions will be accepted from elementary school (grades K-5), middle school (grades 6-8), and high school (grades 9-12) students across the state of South Carolina. The 2022 submission portal will be open from January 17 thru mid-March 15.  Finalists will be invited to read their poems as part of the hybrid Awards Ceremony on May 6, 2022.  Participation will be available both on-campus/in person and online via Zoom.  Finalists for each category will be announced in April 2022. First place prizes will include a Chromebook, hover board, and bicycle. Advanced registration is required, and the event link will be emailed 24 hours prior to the event to those who register. For questions or more information, please email us at or call at 843-792-0701.

2022 Submission Guidelines and Form

What's New on Our Website (Updated June 2022): 

  • The Awards Ceremony Video has been added to the website.
  • The list of 2022 Winners has been added.

Congratulations to our 2022 Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest Winners:

Winners First Name: Last Name:
1st Place Simone Gross
2nd Place Delaney Wolf
3rd Place Penelope Fuentes


Winners First Name: Last Name:
1st Place Lizzie Meden 
2nd Place Marie Ray
3rd Place Elizabeth Wheelon
Winners First Name: Last Name:
1st Place Erica Thomas
2nd Place Acadia Reynolds
3rd Place Jisoo Lee