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County Poet Laureate Calls for Submissions for “Poetry on the Move” Contest

Get inspired. Write “Invention.”

— Today, the County of Santa Clara Poet Laureate Sally Ashton announced the 2012 project: “Poetry on the Move,” a poetry contest supported by the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, VTA, Arts Council Silicon Valley, and Santa Clara County to put poetry in public transportation vehicles. Winning poems will be placed in VTA light rail and buses next year.

“Send your best poem, 50 words or less, that in some way relates to the contest theme, ‘Invention,’” said Ashton. “I’m looking for poems that celebrate who we are and what we do in Silicon Valley. Write about ‘Invention’ as a subject or a theme, or think of your poem as an invention. In it, capture the spirit of ‘making new’ that shapes our county.”

The Poet Laureate has recommended a few ideas for poems related to “Invention”: take your journal, ride VTA around the county, and see what inspires you out the window; visit The Tech Museum or the Computer History Museum of Mountain View; head to an art museum; attend a public performance; walk your city center; read the Technology section of the paper; and stay home and Google.

Submission Guidelines:

  1. One poem of which you are the author
  2. 50 words or less
  3. Relate your poem in some way to the theme, “Invention”
  4. Online submissions only, to be announced
  5. County residents only; please provide address to verify
  6. Final judging by an outside judge
  7. Five winners will have poems appear on car cards in VTA transit
  8. Writers acknowledge that poem format, not content, might be changed to fit car card dimensions.
  9. Participants will be posted on the Poet Laureate blog.

The open submission period and complete submission instructions will be announced early January 2012. Contest updates and samples of poems that “fit” the 50 word limit will be posted on the Poet Laureate blog at

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Lingxia Meng, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119
Posted: December 12, 2011