Michigan writers are invited to write an original ekphrastic poem based on a work of art in the Muskegon Museum of Art’s permanent collection. Writers may choose between five pre-selected works of art.

The contest is open Thursday, January 20 – Thursday, March 24, 2022. It is free to enter and open to all Michigan residents’, including high school students enrolled in college courses and up. The contest guidelines, selected artwork, and the required entry form are found in the links below. Only digital submissions via Google Forms will be accepted.

The Muskegon Museum of Art will host a Writing Salon to celebrate the opening of the Art Talks Back Poetry Contest on Thursday, January 20, from 5-8 PM.

Winfred Rembert (American, 1945-2021)
Yellow Rows
Dye on carved and tooled leather
Museum purchase, through funds provided by the Shaw and Betty Walker Foundation

Jason Quigno (American – Saginaw Chippewa, born 1975)
Infinite Flow
Gift of John J. Helstrom, in memory of his parents, Mathias and Esther Helstrom, from the John J. Helstrom Memorial Fund of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County

John French Sloan (American, 1871-1951)
Nude and Windsor Chair
Oil on Masonite
Museum purchase, through the gifts of Comerica Bank; A. Harold Frauenthal; Grace Harris; David and Phyllis Laurin; Paul Wages, in memory of his parents Lucille M. and Eugene N. Wages; Patricia Wilson; Jan and Lee Witt; and anonymous donors, by exchange

Caterina Urrata Weintraub (American)
Overgrown #2
Flame worked glass, cotton batting
Museum Purchase

Entries are due virtually [click link above] no later than 11:59 PM – Thursday, March 24, 2022

1st | $200 + One Year MMA Membership
2nd | $100 + One Year MMA Membership
3rd | $75 + One Year MMA Membership
Honorable Mentions | $25 Museum Store Gift Card + One Year MMA Membership
Winning writers will be notified via email Tuesday, April 5 by 5 pm. A reading, awards ceremony, and reception will take place on Thursday, April 28, 6-7 PM. Prizes will be mailed if a winning writer is not present.

Dates + Events
Competition Begins | Thursday, January 20 at 12 AM
Writing Salon | January 20, 5-7 PM
Competition Ends | Thursday, March 24, 11:59 PM
Notify the Winners | Tuesday, April 5, 5 PM
Reading, Awards Ceremony, Reception | Thursday, April 28, 6-7 PM