Sidewalk Poetry Competition Deadline is February 16!


Arts and Culture Commissioner Philip Spensley says, “f you haven’t finished that poem you’ve been thinking about, better get to it.  This year’s Sidewalk Poetry Competition deadline is coming up fast. “

The deadline for submission of poems is Saturday, February, 16 at 5 pm.  Winning poems will be announced later in February and will begin to be installed in City sidewalks in April, national poetry month. All Northfield residents and students of any age enrolled in Northfield schools may submit up to two short poems.  There is no charge for submission.  The following are criteria for submission.

• Each person may submit up to two poems. Text and subject matter must be appropriate for the general public. Poems that are explicitly religious, political, graphically violent or overtly sexual will not be considered.

• Each poem must fit within a maximum of 10 lines, with no more than 40 characters per line (including spaces and punctuation.) The maximum number of characters for each poem is 250 (including spaces and punctuation marks). Titles are optional; if titled, count the title and any blank lines within the text limitations outlined above.

• Poems can be previously published or unpublished, as long as they are the original work of the entrant.

• All entries are reviewed by a panel in a blind judging process.

• All poems must be submitted in typewritten form on 8 1⁄2” by 11” paper, one poem per page. No poet’s name, email, or other identifying text can be on the page on which the poem appears.

• Each entrant must also include a cover page with the poet’s name, contact information, and the first line(s) of each poem submitted.

• Turn in your entry at the circulation desk at the Library,downtown, or mail it to.

Friends of the Northfield Public Library, 210 Washington Street, Northfield, MN, 55057, Attn: Sidewalk Poetry.

Northfield’s Sidewalk Poetry project is funded by a $10,000 grant to the Arts and Culture Commission from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council.  Grants from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council are made possible by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Winning poems from 2011 and 2012 can be found at and at

Anyone wishing to further support sidewalk poetry by making a financial donation ($650 must be raised in matching funds as a condition of the SEMAC grant), please contact the Friends of the Library, or Arts and Culture Commission members, Leslie Schultz ( 645-653); Philip Spensley ( 663-7141); or Bonnie Jean Flom (  (507) 645-6845).