Attention, poets! The Muskegon Museum of Art kicks off its ‘Art Talks Back’ poetry contest tomorrow, Jan. 23, with a free writing salon

Image via the Muskegon Museum of Art

Writers, it’s time to get out your pens and pencils and head to the Muskegon Museum of Art (296 W. Webster Ave.) on Thursday, Jan. 23 from 5:30-8pm for the launch of the annual “Art Talks Back” poetry contest.

All members of the public are invited to the Thursday evening writing salon that kicks off the poetry contest, for which Michigan writers are invited to create original ekphrastic poems based on one of 10 works of art from the Muskegon Museum of Art’s permanent collection. (An ekphrastic poem is one that vividly describes a work of art.) Cash prizes, Muskegon Museum of Art memberships, and gift certificates will be awarded to the winning poets. The first prize award is sponsored by the Poetry Society of Michigan.

Beginning Thursday, Jan. 23, you can go here for the contest guidelines, the 10 artworks that poets can write about for the contest, and required entry forms.

Last year, C.J. Giroux, of Saginaw, won first prize for his poem, “Viewing Michael Triegel’s ‘Self Portrait.” Jane Wheeler, of Lowell, landed second prize, and Philip Sterling, also of Lowell, received third prize. To see a complete list of last year’s winners, you can click here.

The competition will end Thursday, March 26, 2020. An awards ceremony and poetry reading will be held Thursday, April 30 at 6pm at the museum.

For more information, call the museum at (231)720-2577 or email

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