A note to poets...

Dear Annual Poetry Contest entrants (and poets considering submitting to the contest), 


Doing so helps us determine which judging category (age group) your poem belongs in.

Thank you!

FCPL's 19th Annual Poetry Contest

Did you know this April will mark the 22nd anniversary of National Poetry Month? Back in 1996, the Academy of American Poets decided to dedicate the month of April to the pursuit and passion of poetry. Soon thereafter, Fresno County Public Library instituted an annual April poetry contest to promote local creativity and literacy--2018 marks the contest's 19th year!

Take part in a Library tradition and submit your poems throughout the month of April. Submitted poems will be reviewed by a talented panel of judges, in early May, and a ceremony honoring our winners and all of our contest participants will be held on Sunday, May 20 (2-3 pm) in the Saroyan Gallery at Fresno County Public Library's Central (Downtown Fresno) branch. Refreshments and music will be punctuated by poetry readings from the winners!


The contest runs from April 1 - 30, 2018
Award ceremony held on May 20, 2018 


3rd-6th Grade
7th-8th Grade
9th-12th Grade
Adult (18+)


Winners in each category will receive a Barnes and Noble gift card, generously donated by the Friends of the Fresno County Public Library.

1st Place: $100

2nd Place: $50
3rd Place: $25


All poems must be submitted using the webform on this site, which will be made available on April 1st. Only one poem per person will be considered for the contest. You must be a Fresno County resident to participate. If you are younger than 13, your parent must complete and submit the entry form for you. If you are a teacher and want to submit poems from your class, please call us at 559-600-6174.

New this year: Poems in the adult category will be accepted in English or Spanish (some of our judges are bilingual in English and Spanish.)

Remember: This contest is for all ages so please use appropriate language. The Library reserves the right to not publish or post entries. However, all poems will still be considered by the judges.

Privacy Policy

Congratulations 2017 winners!

This year, we received many excellent poems and, as far as we're concerned, everyone who submitted to the contest deserves to be celebrated. However, the judges could only honor a limited number of poems/poets with prizes. Here are the results:

1st What Once Was The Valley Jason B.
2nd Some Muses Leave Bruises Sean H.
3rd Futile Cindy V

High School
1st Two Rivers Jin B.
2nd We Belong in a Garden Cali T.
3rd Hambre Audrey B.

Middle School
1st Forsaken Land Elena S.
2nd Be You Marusya A.
3rd  Immigrante o Indocumentado , Christina V.

1st Nut job Gavin M
2nd The Ocean Sea Mist  Gianna M.
3rd My Cat. Vincent R.

Congratulations to the 1st-3rd place winners, and thank you to everyone who submitted poems to the contest! Your entries made for some fierce competition, and we look forward to enjoying more of your writing next year.

Want to read the winning poems? Check them out here.