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2024 National Poetry Month Ekphrastic Poetry Contest

April is National Poetry Month!

The Witte Museum has partnered with local poets and institutions to draw inspiration from varied artwork and artifacts.

We are honored to showcase the 2024 Ekphrastic Poetry contest winners, written in response to Mapa de la Provincia de Texas, from our collection: Catherine Lee, Mario Mondragon, Marla Dial Moore and Anasofia Garcia Ramos.

Click on a photo to enlarge a poem, or download a PDF of all four winning poems here

Mapa de la Provincia de Texas

map drawn by Stephen F. Austin in 1822

 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.

Community Poet Partner

Additionally, community poet Fernando Esteban Flores, has been selected to represent the Witte Museum in the creation of a unique ekphrastic poem based on a piece that is currently on view. The poem below was inspired by Market Plaza by Thomas Allen.

Click to enlarge each page of the poem or download the PDF version here.

Painting showing people and livestock on a plaza.
Market Plaza, 1878-1879. Thomas Allen, oil on canvas. Witte Museum Collection

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 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 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: