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MUSC Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest

Welcome to the 5th Annual Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest Page

Información en Español/Information in Spanish

We are pleased to announce the 5th 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 fifth year for this collaboration with Charleston Poet Laureate Marcus Amaker. The contest theme is "Unity in the Community:  A World United."  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 2023 submission portal will be open from January 17 thru March 15.  Finalists will be invited to read their poems as part of the hybrid Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 28, 2023.  Participation will be available both on-campus/in person and online via Zoom.  Finalists for each category will be announced in April 2023. 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.

2023 Submission Guidelines and Form

This program is sponsored in part by the OneMUSC Strategic Fund.


What's New on Our Website (Updated February 2023): 

  • The Awards Ceremony registration link has been posted on the website (below).

MUSC Septima P. Clark Book Buddies

  • MUSC Septima P. Clark Book Buddy Volunteers are available to read books for classrooms throughout South Carolina either in-person or virtually.  Free books are also be available for eligible schools. 
    • To submit a request, please click here

MUSC Septima P. Clark Awards Ceremony RSVP Link

Advanced registration is open for the

Poetry Contest Awards Reception on Friday, April 28, 2023.

Click here to register.