Who is eligible to submit a poem? 

This contest is intended for and open to U.S. Catholics between the ages 18-30. 

What does my poem need to be about?

All poetry submissions should focus on the injustice of the capital punishment system in the United States. Some themes you may consider incorporating into your poem are:

What if I don’t know anything about the death penalty? 

Check out these resources for more information about the U.S. death penalty system.

CMN Resources 

Additional Resources

Does my poem need to rhyme? 

While many poems do rhyme, it is not a requirement! Formal verse, free verse, and rhyming poems are all welcome.

When does the poetry contest end? 

The last day to submit a poem is Tuesday, May 31, 2022 by 11:59 p.m. EDT.

When will the contest winners be announced? 

Contest winners will be announced in mid-June 2022 and will be notified via email. 

What do the contest winners win? 

The first-place winner of the poetry contest will receive a $1,000 cash prize and their poem will be published on CMN’s website and social media channels. The first-place winner will also be invited on an expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC to read their poem live at CMN’s 13th anniversary celebration at the Apostolic Nunciature on October 10, 2022.

The second-place winner of the poetry contest will receive a $500 cash prize and their poem will be published on CMN’s website and social media channels.

The third-place winner of the poetry contest will receive a $300 cash prize and their poem will be published on CMN’s website and social media channels.

Every contest participant will be invited to a virtual gathering in the summer of 2022 to hear from death penalty abolition leaders and learn about opportunities for education, advocacy, and prayer in the movement to end the death penalty. 

Where do I submit my poem? 

Poem submissions are accepted here!