Monday, January 1st, 2018 - Thursday, March 15th, 2018
Cornell Art Museum at Old School Square

The Palm Beach Poetry Festival invites you to submit an original poem inspired by the LOOKING GLASS Exhibition at Old School Square’s Cornell 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.

Entries that win cash prizes and honorable mention will be published online and announced in press releases.

The works in the Looking Glass exhibition delve into ways in which visual artists approach ideas of reflection and perception. The unique artworks on display allow viewers to see themselves in the works and to “find a sense of belonging in the Cornell Art Museum.”

Poems should take inspiration from one of the designated images from the LOOKING GLASS exhibition shown below.* The works themselves are on display at the Cornell Museum at Old School Square from November 28, 2017 – March 15, 2018. We also encourage you to visit the museum to see the artworks in person. (Click on each image to see a larger high-res version.)

“Muse” by Jeremy Penn
“Portrait of Joan Agajanian Quinn” by Andrew Logan
“Facade” by Elle Schorr
“Invisible Quilt” by Peter Symons
“Outer Reflection” by Lilibeth Rasmussen
“One Day You’ll be Mine” by Graeme Messer
“Dog Mirror” by Liliana Porter
“Five Squares” by Chul-Hyun Awn

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 Looking Glass exhibit.

Contest Opens: January 1, 2018

Deadline: March 15, 2018

What to Do: Visit the LOOKING GLASS exhibit 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: click here
Entry Fee: No fee. Submit one poem only, please.


  • First Prize: $100
  • Second, Third, Fourth Prizes: 4 awards of $25 each
  • 5 Honorable Mentions
  • Top 10 entries will be published online

Results Announced: April 2018

Cornell Art Museum LOOKING GLASS exhibit 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.

*Images courtesy the Cornell Museum of Art at Old School Square and artist Liliana Porter (for work, Dog Mirror)