Deadline to Submit is February 28, 2020. Winners will be announced in April.

The Palm Beach Poetry Festival invites you to submit an original poem inspired by the Art Couture Exhibition at the Cornell Art Museum at Old School Square!

Five cash prizes and five honorable mentions will be selected by contest judge, Stephen Gibson. First Prize: $100.00; Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth Prizes: 4 awards of $25.00 each; Five Honorable Mentions.

All five prize-winning poems will be featured in the May issue of South Florida Poetry Journal. All winning poems including honorable mention poems will be published on the website and in press release and social media announcements.

The works in Art Couture: The Intersection of Fashion and Art focus on contemporary art that is fashion-inspired, and on fashion designers’ couture designs and illustrations. Fashion as art, important works of contemporary art, and couture designs featured on mannequins are all part of this exciting exhibition. Six galleries with three designers and three galleries of artwork, and an atrium space holding contemporary art. The eight works from the exhibition offer poets plenty of inspiration for ekphrastic poems.


Athena Shoe /Pall Mall/ McQueen, Rick Lazes
Marilyn En Bleu, Sylvestre Gauvrit
Pink Suit, Timo Weiland
Adhesif, Mondrian
Adhesif, Caroline Dechamby
Dorian Gray, Sonya Sanchez Arias
Expensive Taste, Becky Rosa
Meghan, Rick Lazes
Air Jordan, Study 2, Stephen Wilson






(Click on each image to see a larger high-res version.)

Poems should take inspiration from one of the eight designated images from the Art Couture exhibition shown above. The works are now on display at the Cornell Museum at Old School Square until February 16, 2020. We encourage you to visit the museum to see the Exhibition in person.  Poets may submit using Submittable.

Ekphrastic Poems come from the poetic tradition of taking inspiration from objects and works of art known as “ekphrasis” from the Greek. These may include literal descriptions of a work of art, the poet´s mood in response to a work of art, metaphorical associations inspired by a work of art, or personal memories about a work of art.

The Contest Judge is Stephen Gibson, author of seven poetry collections, most recently, Self-Portrait in a Door-Length Mirror, winner of the 2017 Miller Williams Prize (Univ. of Arkansas Press), selected by Billy Collins. His poetry and fiction have appeared in such journals as American Arts Quarterly, Gargoyle, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, North American Review, The Paris Review, Pleiades, Poetry, River Styx, The Sewanee Review, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, and The Yale Review among others. He taught for thirty-two years at the Belle Glade campus of Palm Beach State College.

To submit use this link to our Submittable site.

Poems must be no longer than 30 lines and inspired by one of the designated works that are part of the Art Couture Exhibition.

Contest Opens: December 2, 2019

Deadline: February 28, 2020

What to Do: Visit the Art Couture Exhibition at the Cornell Art Museum at Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave. Delray Beach, Florida, to be inspired in person, or choose one of the images on this page to inspire your 30 line poem!

Length Limit: Up to 30 lines

Submit to: Submittable: Palm Beach Poetry Festival Art Couture Ekphrastic Contest

Entry Fee: No fee. Submit one poem only, please.


  • First Prize: $100
  • Second, Third, Fourth Prizes: 4 awards of $25 each
  • 5 Honorable Mentions
  • The prize-winning entries will be published in the May issue of South Florida Poetry Journal.

Results Announced: April 2020

Cornell Art Museum Art Couture Exhibition is open to the public, Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm, Sunday, 1pm – 5pm.

$8 (general); $5 (seniors 65+ and students with ID); free for children under 12, Old School Square members and Veterans; free for Florida residents on Sundays.

* This competition would not be possible without the collaboration of Old School Square and The Cornell Art Museum. Images courtesy of the Cornell Art Museum at Old School Square.