Dancing Poetry Contest
Three Grand Prize Winning Poems to be Danced and Filmed
- 3 Grand Prizes will receive $100 each plus their poems will be danced and filmed. Each Grand Prize winner will be invited onstage for photo ops with the dancers and a bow in the limelight.
- Six First Prizes will receive $50 each
- Twelve Second Prizes will receive $25 each
- Thirty Third Prizes will receive $10 each
- All winners will receive a prize certificate suitable for framing and be invited to read at our 2022 Festival at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco (the event may be held online if circumstances require)
The top three poems chosen as Grand Prizes will be choreographed, costumed, and recorded live in an on-stage performance at the Festival. See video and pictures from our 2021 Festival, and check the other tabs on our website to read winning poems and view photos of the winning poets.
Last year's Grand Prize winners included Mary K. Lindberg, Deborah Tash, and Cynthia West. For poetry, we look for something new and different including new twists to old themes, different looks at common situations, and innovative concepts for dynamic, thought-provoking entertainment. Please do not feel constrained to submit a poem about dancing.
The entry fee is $5 per poem or $10 for three poems, payable to Artists Embassy International. (Poets outside the USA, please send US currency or an international postal money order in US dollars.) Each poem may be up to 38 lines long. Send two copies of each poem. One copy should be anonymous (just title and poem), the other should have your name, address, phone, email address, and where you heard about this contest (e.g. Winning Writers). There is no limit on the number of entries. Entries should be typed.
Your entry should be suitable for a general audience since our following is comprised of people of all ages and ethnicities. English translations must be included with non-English poems. Our judges consist of poets, dancers, musicians, and visual artists of various media, all members of Artists Embassy International. Judging is done with the anonymous copies of the poems. Artists Embassy International is a non-profit, volunteer, arts and education organization whose goal is to further intercultural understanding through the arts.
Three poets, the Grand Prize winners, will be rewarded with seeing their poems danced by Natica Angilly's Poetic Dance Theater Company, a well-known dance troupe that has performed around the world and throughout America. This company is dedicated exclusively to creating new avenues by combining poetry, dance, and music together for presentation and the expansion of poetry with dance in the life of our culture.
To enter the contest, please visit our website at www.dancingpoetry.com or submit to AEI Contest Chair W, Judy Cheung, 704 Brigham Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95404-5245. Questions? Please email Ms. Cheung at email@example.com.
Please enjoy "Dance of Atoms" by Mary K. Lindberg, winner of a Grand Prize in 2021:
Dance of Atoms
At the piano I play Chopin's Berceuse.
The right hand elaborates a melody
the way bobbin thread spins filigree lace;
the left repeats four notes, the same
throughout. A lullaby.
My hands, like my body, churn atoms.
This invisible smithy summons Chopin's
melody, penned over a century ago,
full of turns, trills, ornaments,
to evoke bel canto singing.
The dance of my hands becomes a dance
of my wholeness. I touch white ivory, black
wooden keys to strike strings, make
atoms of sound vibrate. My fingers en pointe
for tone, my feet adroitly tap pedals.
Like a human breath, a musical phrase
rises, falls. Another answers; a wistful
conversation ends as notes,
like a waterfall, cascade across the keyboard.
The piano's body shivers.
Tips of fingers sail off keys breathlessly,
dreamy sensations hover at the window
of sleep. Far-off tiny bells ring, the sound
of stars twinkling. Atoms tiptoe in harmony,
a smooth choreography that closes eyelids.
Clouds climb over the moon and dissolve,
whiffs of lavender float over a cradle.
Chopin, hard at work, dips his pen
into ink, dabs black marks to croon
a mesmerizing lullaby.