Indiana Humanities seeks eclipse poetry

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Humanities is seeking an official poet for the April 8, 2024 eclipse.

Indiana is one of a handful of states that will be in the event’s path of totality — where the moon completely blocks the sun.

Residents are invited to submit an original poem inspired by the event, which will not happen again until 2044.

The poet who submits a poem that best reflects the significance of the eclipse will receive a cash prize of $500, the opportunity to read the poem during an eclipse watch party in Indianapolis, and have their work featured on Indiana Humanities’ website and social media.

A second-place prize of $200 and a third-place prize of $100 will be awarded, along with the opportunity to read at the April 8 event.

“For generations, eclipses have been spectacles for humans to ponder and make meaning from in the natural world,” said Megan Telligman, Indiana Humanities director of programs, said in a press release. “Though we’ve learned the science behind the eerie occurrences, eclipses still inspire artists and writers to depict these moments and we look forward to seeing how this unique Indiana event will be interpreted by Hoosiers.”

Submissions should be emailed as a PDF attachment to [email protected] by Feb. 9, 2024.

A panel of judges will choose the winner and runners-up.

Winners will be notified by March 1, so that the poem and poet can be incorporated into the many special festivities surrounding the eclipse programming.

Indiana Humanities is a statewide nonprofit that infuses the humanities into people’s daily lives. It aims to do so by providing grants, convening discussions, uplifting humanities scholars, spotlighting humanities organizations and activities, and creating programs that help Hoosiers think, read and talk.

For more details about the guidelines and how to submit a poem, go to indianahumanities.org/2024/01/04/eclipse24/.