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The Write Like Roethke Poetry Contest

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize, we invite you to write a poem inspired by Saginaw’s native son and one of the most highly regarded poets of the twentieth century, Theodore Roethke (1908-1963), who remains the only Michigan writer to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

This contest is open to all residents of the Great Lakes Bay region.  Winners will be featured in SVSU publications and/or on the school's website. Three $100 cash prizes will awarded.  

To submit, take one of the following quotes from Roethke’s poetry, and use it to inspire your own poem:

• “I have learned not to fear infinity / The far field, the windy cliffs of forever / The dying of time in the white light of tomorrow.”

• “Deep in their roots, all flowers keep their light.”

• “Love’s not love until love’s vulnerable.”

• “What is madness but nobility of the soul, at odds with circumstance?”

Submission Guidelines:

  • - Limit your entry to 40 lines; only one poem per person.
  • - In the body of your email, provide your name, age, title of the poem, and contact information (phone, address, email).
  • - Attach your entry as a .doc or .docx file, with your name, the title of your piece, and “Roethke Poetry Contest” in the subject line.  Submit your work to

 All entries are due by March 2, 2018.


Questions? Call 989.964.6062 or email