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An Original Poetry Competition

Ekphrastic writing, or writing about art, was created by the Greeks but popularized by the Romans. The goal of ekphrasis was to make the reader or listener envision a work of art as if it were physically present. Looking at art and describing art is central to being visually literate in our image-saturated world.

TMA’s annual Ekphrastic Poetry Contest invites you to submit an original poem inspired by a work of art in the Museum’s collection. Entries for the 2018 competition will be accepted through March 30, 2018.

Educators interested in scheduling an Ekphrastic Writing experience for their students can register online:

If you’ve been inspired to write about an object in the Museum’s collection, we invite you to participate in TMA’s ninth annual Ekphrastic Poetry Contest.
Entries must be typed on 8.5” x 11” paper using 12-point type in an easily readable font. Writing must be submitted in edited format. Poems may be edited by Museum staff to fit on labeling, but judgement of writing will be based on complete entries.
I hereby give permission to the Toledo Museum of Art to publicly print and/or display my work at the Museum, in the Museum publications, online or in any other public venue as deemed appropriate by the staff of the Museum. This permission is not a transfer of ownership, does not extend to commercial use of this work, and does not void the author/artist copyright protection.