The American Jewish Historical Society is hosting a National Poetry contest that asks students: “If you could write a poem for the Statue of Liberty today, what would it say?”
Emma Lazarus’ story shows how even in complicated times, people can engage civically, and that art can help express and define the ideals and identity of a nation nation.
You do not have to participate in the full Emma Lazarus Project Curriculum in order to submit their poems to the contest, but we do encourage you to watch the film below and explore the website. Whether in a class setting or on their own, we invite students to connect past and present, and imagine themselves as modern day Emma Lazaruses.
Students poems should explore both the stories “The New Colossus” invites, and those to which it may have blinded us too as well. Students poems should, together with the Statue of Liberty, should send a message to the world about America.
· For this contest, we are only accepting work from student poets in middle school and high school.
· Submissions are open nationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the meat of the poem is in English.
· We are accepting only unpublished work for this contest.
· There is no word requirements, but we suggest your poem is between 14 and 20 lines long.
· We do accept multiple submissions, only one poem may be submitted by each student.
· Any submission deemed to include language that is hateful, harmful, or violent will not be reviewed.