National Poetry Contest


Thursday • March 16, 2017

Thank you for all the submissions. Entry is now Closed! 

Calling all spoken word artists 18 years or older – be a part of the Jazz in the Gardens National Poetry Competition!

A Jazz in the Gardens Initiative – City of Miami Gardens

Subject Matter: How Black Music Changed the World #BlackMusicMatters #BlackMindsMatter


Now – February 24, 2017: Now CLOSED
March 16, 2017: Poetry in the Gardens Finals IN MIAMI, FLORIDA
Judging: February 27 – March 3, 2017
Finalists announced: March 3, 2017


Now through February 24, 2017, upload your best work via Facebook or YouTube, and complete the submission form below.  Use the hashtags #JITG17, #PoetryJITG, and #BlackMusicMatters.

Eligible finalists must attend the Poetry in the Gardens finals on Thursday March 16, 2017.

1st – $10,000 • 2nd – $3,500 • 3rd – $1,500


  • You must be at least 18 years old or older to compete in the poetry slam contest.
  • You may only submit one (1) performance in video format.
  • Use the hashtags: #JITG17; #PoetryJITG; #BlackMusicMatters
  • All entries must be received by midnight February 20, 2017.
  • No performance should last longer than two to three minutes.
  • Each poet must perform work that s/he has created.
  • No props; no costumes; no white clothing.
  • No musical instruments or pre-recorded music.
  • Your work may be shown on our website. We will give you full credit for your work.
  • All submissions must have a title; if you do not title your work, it will not be considered.
  • Poems/Poets will be evaluated based on the following categories:
    1. Physical Presence
    2. Voice and Articulation
    3. Appropriateness of Dramatization
    4. Level of Difficulty
    5. Evidence of Understanding
    6. Overall Performance



Poetry in the Gardens is a Jazz in the Gardens initiative. It serves as a forum for spoken word artists to share their creativity, thoughts about a topic to generate meaningful conversation and dialogue long after the contest has concluded.

  • Submissions are open to any adult 18 years and older.
  • Submissions will be evaluated anonymously.
  • Selections are made by a team of judges based on objective criteria.
  • Selections are based on the quality of individual pieces.
  • Artists are encouraged to submit their best, most meaningful works for consideration.
  • We also reserve the right not to release material that invades an individual’s right to privacy, or material that is obscene or inappropriate.
  • Artists retain copyright of submissions but grant Poetry in the Gardens the right to use selected submissions for promotional purposes.
  • Finalists are required to complete a W9 form (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD).
  • I have read the submission guidelines.
  • My submission indicates that I understand and agree to them. My submission also certifies that the piece I am submitting is completely original and was created entirely by me.*
  • The submission of this electronic form denotes that all producers, editors, directors, etc. agree to the policies of Poetry in the Gardens.

By clicking the SUBMIT ENTRY BUTTON you agree to the policies stated above.