Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Annual poetry competition issues call for entries

Announcing the 2014 edition of the Hilda Simmons Levitt Poetry Contest!

quillThe Hilda Simmons Levitt Poetry Contest — with more than $1,000 in prize money going to the winning poets — has been called one of the most prestigious in the state. It was established in 1988 by the late Stanley Levitt to honor his wife’s memory, and her love of poetry and Midland College. Hilda Simmons Levitt graduated with honors in journalism from Louisiana State University where she also studied under poet Robert Penn Warren. In 1979, at the age of 62, Mrs. Levitt decided to pursue writing again. For the next seven years, until her death in 1986, she studied creative writing at Midland College. The contest is now underwritten by Mrs. Levitt’s daughter Carol Schwartz, who lives in Washington, D.C.

This is the 26th year of the contest. It honors student poets at Midland College with publication, recognition, and cash awards. The contest is open to anyone who has taken an English course at Midland College in the last calendar year. Entrants may submit up to five poems of any length. All entries must be submitted online by April 14, 2014. The entry form is available through the Hilda Simmons Levitt Poetry Contest link on the English Department Website.

 • Online contest entry form (secure online form)

Writers are asked to submit with their names entirely removed from the files and file names of all entries for the sake of fair, anonymous. Please name files with only the titles of each submission.


shewmakerThis year's judge is Michael Shewmaker. He is a Wallace Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Yale Review, Southwest Review, Sewanee Theological Review, New Criterion, Measure, American Arts Quarterly and other literary journals and anthologies. His work has been recently awarded a Gates Scholarship from Texas Tech University, the Morton Marr poetry prize and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship to attend the Sewanee Writers' Conference.

Shewmaker will give a reading along with the winners of this year's contest at an Awards Celebration to be held Thursday, April 24th in the McCormick Gallery on the Midland College campus.


Grand Award: $600 and Award Plaque
Second Place Award: $400 and Award Plaque
Third Place Award: $200 and Award Plaque
Fourth Place Award: $100 and Award Plaque
NOTE: Midland College reserves the right to withhold awards if entries are lacking in quality.

Awards Celebration

The Awards Celebration for the the Hilda Simmons Levitt Poetry Contest will be held Thursday, April 24th, 5:30 p.m. in the Wagner & Brown Auditorium, Allison Fine Arts Building, on the MC main campus. Winners will not be notified in advance, and are expected to attend the awards ceremony. Failure to attend may result in loss of awards.


Selected writings from the Hilda Simmons Levitt Poetry Contest will be published in Tableau, an annual student publication produced through cooperation of the Departments of English and Journalism, and may also appear on the Midland College website. The material published will be selected by the Hilda Simmons Levitt Poetry Contest Committee, and approved by the president of Midland College.


Brendan Egan
Department of English, Midland College
(432) 685-4638

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