Submissions for Poetry in Public 2021 are now being accepted for consideration through Friday, April 16, 2021. Now in its 19th year, the annual Poetry in Public Program encourages writers of all ages and levels of writing ability and experience to submit entries to the contest. Poetry in Public was initiated in 2002 to celebrate, promote, and nurture Iowa City’s rich literary tradition, especially its local talent and writing culture.

Competition rules:

  • Entrants must be residents of Johnson County.
  • Only one poem per author will be considered. Submitted poems will not be returned.
  • The poem can be no more than seven lines in length (not including the title), and can be either an existing or new work.
  • An excerpt from a longer poem will be considered if it can stand alone.
  • Poems will be judged on quality of writing as well as accessibility and suitability for public display before a general audience.
  • Complex formatting, layouts, “word art,” and use of non-standard typefaces should be avoided.
  • If reprint permissions are required, please receive permission prior to submitting your work.

Entries can now be submitted on the online submission form, located on the Poetry in Public web page at  A printable form is also available on the website or by request. 

Entries for Poetry in Public 2021 must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 16, 2021. Please contact Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator Marcia Bollinger at or 319-356-5237 if you have questions or wish to be provided a submission form.

The Iowa City Artists Registry

This registry is now available for submissions by local artists and arts organizations/businesses and is searchable by everyone! Visit Iowa City Artist Registry to learn more.

Date of publication

Tuesday, April 06, 2021