MPM Poetry Competition

MPM announces its 10th annual poetry competition for Wisconsin students.

THEME: 10 at MPM
DEADLINE: April 27, 2018 

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Milwaukee Public Museum’s Student Poetry Competition, the theme for 2017-2018 is “10 at MPM.” The theme focuses on ten iconic exhibits that highlight the Museum, its collections, and mission, and celebrate its legacy as one of the region’s most treasured cultural institutions.

While any of the Museum’s many fascinating exhibits could easily qualify as signature, representative features of the institution, we have chosen the following ten due to their consistent popularity with our visitors, and their potential to inspire rich poetic interpretation.

  1. Hebior Mammoth
  2. Humpback Whale Skeleton
  3. Streets of Old Milwaukee
  4. Butterfly Vivarium
  5. Hell Creek
  6. Native American Pow Wow
  7. Crow Indian Bison Hunt
  8. Maasai Lion Hunt
  9. Crossroads of Civilization
  10. Japanese House and Garden

We heartily encourage students to visit the Museum and tour these renowned exhibits for inspiration in writing their poems. However, it is not necessary for students to visit the Museum in order to participate in the competition. Students may also be inspired by the exhibit photographs featured in Teacher Lesson Guide.

Kohl’s Thank You Thursday is a great time to visit! ALL visitors receive FREE access to the permanent exhibits of MPM on the first Thursday of every month, and we stay open until 8 p.m.

Who is eligible: Submissions will be accepted from students in 3rd through 12th grades only.

Submission Guidelines

  • All submissions must be word-processed. Single-spaced text is acceptable.
  • Poems may not exceed 30 lines.
  • Each poem must have a title.
  • Each poem must focus on the theme, “10 at MPM” (the ten signature exhibits listed above). Poems not focusing on one of these exhibits will not be considered.
  • Please avoid: decorative fonts, illustrations, and colored paper, which make submissions more difficult to read.
  • For complete contest details and submission guidelines, download a printable Poetry Competition Teacher Lesson Guide.

Electronic submissions are now accepted for the Poetry Competition. If you would like to submit your students' work electronically, please fill out the fields below. All poems must be grouped into a single PDF or Word document, with one poem per page. Please be sure your contact information and grade level appears in the top right-hand corner of each page.

Please note that we will continue to accept submissions via regular mail. You may mail submissions to the following address:

MPM Poetry Competition
Richard Hedderman
Milwaukee Public Museum 

Education Section
800 West Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233-1478

Attach a single word document or PDF containing all the poems you wish to submit. Maximum file size is 5MB.