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2024 National Poetry Month Ekphrastic Poetry Contest

National Poetry Month is just around the corner!

The Witte Museum partners with local poets and other art institutions to invite you to draw inspiration from varied artwork. Submit a poem written in response to the Mapa de la Provincia de Texas, from our collection. 

The winning poem will be shared on participating sites in April to celebrate National Poetry Month.
map drawn by Stephen F. Austin in 1822

Mapa de la Provincia de Texas

 Gift of Mrs. R. W. Morrison

The map was copied by Simon Bourne from the Mapa de la Provincia de Texas, drawn by Stephen F. Austin in 1822.

Simon Bourne, one of the first immigrants to Texas from England, made a copy of Stephen F. Austin’s 1822 map of the Mexican Province of Texas. Austin’s map, and Bourne’s copy also done in 1822, represent the most complete and accurate information available at the time on Native American settlements in the province.

The Mapa de la Provincia is located on the second floor of the Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center. Reserve your Museum Admission online here or purchase tickets at the Walker Admission Desk upon arrival.

What is an Ekphrastic Poem?

A poem written in response to an artwork. These poems take an existing piece of visual art, and use written words to describe and expand on the theme of that work of art. The poem should not simply describe the artwork; it should express how the art enlightens, puzzles, moves, inspires you, etc. Many of these poems explore hidden meanings or an underlying story.

Contest Information

San Antonio and South Texas poets! You’re invited to submit poems inspired by artworks from five San Antonio arts institutions. Three Categories: Adults; Youth, ages 13 – 17; Youth, age 12 and under.

Contest Opens: February 5, 2024.

Submission Deadline: March 8, 2024.

There is no entry fee to the contest. Museum Admission is required to see the Mapa de la Provincia de Texas; reserve your Museum Admission online here or purchase tickets at the Walker Admission Desk upon arrival.

What & How to Submit: 

  1. Up to two (2) poems (each a maximum of 15 lines including title) written in response to the art. Poems should express how the art puzzles, moves, frightens, enlightens you, etc. Please do not put your name or identifying info on the poem. Do not include artwork image on poem or in email.
  2. Attach one poem per email in a PDF or Microsoft Word doc or docx to EkphrasticPoetryContest1@gmail.com. Subject line should read: Ekphrastic Poetry Contest Submission (YOUTH or ADULT) – (Title of Selected Artwork).
  3. In your email include: your name, city & state, phone and email. Youth entries must include age.

Winners will be notified via email by March 21 and must attach their winning poem(s) as a PDF in an email to EkphrasticPoetryContest1@gmail.com with email subject line: (ADULT or YOUTH) Winning Poem PDF – (Your Name). Winning poems will be posted at online sites throughout April, National Poetry Month.

You can find additional artworks and poems at partner museums: