Write an original poem about the death penalty for a chance to win $1,000!

Are you a young adult between the ages of 18-30? Are you passionate about ending the death penalty? Do you feel inspired by your faith to work for justice solutions that are rooted in mercy and redemption?

Our Catholic faith teaches that all people are created in the image and likeness of God, instilled with dignity and worth that can never be taken away, even when someone commits a serious crime. The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states that the death penalty is "inadmissible" and an attack on the dignity of life.

Inspired by our faith and Church teaching, we are called to work for the abolition of capital punishment.

If you feel called to be a part of that movement, enter CMN's Justice & Mercy Poetry Contest for Young Adults with an original poem about the injustice of capital punishment to be eligible to win up to $1,000 in cash.

"This is the dreary manufacture of another murderer,
a dull accounting of eyes and teeth."
—Terre Haute, Again by Katherine Scott (First Place, 2022)

2024 Contest Submission Window

Original poems can be entered into the contest between February 1 and March 25 for a chance to win. Contest winners will be announced in April.

The contest window is now closed. Thank you for submitting!

If you have any issues accessing the submission form, please send your poem to us via email at info@catholicsmobilizing.org.

Contest Prizes

All contest winners will be published on CMN's website and social media. Select winners will be chosen to be represented in a printed booklet of poems.

First Place - $1,000 cash prize and an invitation to CMN's October 2024 Justice Reimagined Awards & Celebration event in Washington, DC.

Second Place - $500 cash prize

Third Place - $300 cash prize


For questions, visit the Poetry Contest FAQ or email Emmjolee Mendoza Waters at emmjolee@catholicsmobilizing.org.

"I send a prayer to God for the strength to continue
A deep breath
Somehow it never gets easier
I remind myself that this is justice
Somehow it does not feel like it
Today I will kill a man"
—Bradley by Tara Thayer (First Place, 2023)