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MUSC Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest

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

Save-the-Date for Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest

Información en Español (Viene pronto)/Information in Spanish (Coming Soon)

We are pleased to announce the 4th Annual MUSC Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest & Awards Reception.  This annual contest honors acclaimed Charleston native, teacher, and "Grandmother of the Civil Rights 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 mid-January thru mid-March (exact dates TBA).  Finalists will be invited to read their poems as part of the hybrid Awards Reception in the late Spring.  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 January 2022): 

  • The 2022 Poetry Contest website has been launched (prior years are still available through the site).
  • 2021 Finalist Poems have been posted on the website.
  • The Poem Submission Portal will open on January 17, 2022 in honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.

MUSC Septima P. Clark Awards Ceremony RSVP Link

Advanced registration will be required for the 2022 Poetry Contest Awards Ceremony.  The date for this hybrid event will be announced, and the registration link will be posted here.  Please check back for updates.