2024 NPSA Ekphrastic Poetry Contest

Calling all San Antonio and South Texas poets! We invite you to weave your words with the vibrant tapestry of artworks from five San Antonio art institutions and submit original poems to this year’s NPMSA Ekphrastic Poetry Contest. We partnered with local poets and other art institutions to offer a unique opportunity to delve into the depths of creativity, allowing visual art to guide your poetic journey. We invite you to draw inspiration from the chosen artworks presented at the art institutes listed below. 

Submit a poem written in response to Gladys Roldán-de-Moras‘s oil painting Sunday Riding at Mission San José from the Briscoe’s permanent collection.

An ekphrastic poem is one based on a piece of art. These poems take an existing piece of visual art and use written words to describe and expand on the theme of that work of art. Often these poems explore hidden meanings or an underlying story. 

Gladys Roldán-de-Moras (b. 1965), Sunday Riding at Mission San José, 2014, Oil on linen, 36 x 48 in.
Briscoe Western Art Museum Permanent Collection. Gift of Marrs McLean Bowman in Memory of His Mother Ruth McLean Bowman Bowers.

Copyright Gladys Roldán-de-Moras 2014


Contest Opens: February 5, 2024 | Submission Deadline: March 8, 2024 | There is no entry fee.

April 27, 2024: Ekphrastic Celebration Reading by winning poets at Ruby City at 10 a.m.


  1. Up to two (2) poems (each a maximum of 15 lines including title) written in response to the art. Poems should express how the art puzzles, moves, frightens, enlightens you, etc. Please do not put your name or identifying info on the poem. Do not include artwork image on poem or in email.
  2. Attach one poem per email in a PDF or Microsoft Word doc or docx to EkphrasticPoetryContest1@gmail.com. Subject line should read: Ekphrastic Poetry Contest Submission (YOUTH or ADULT) – (Title of Selected Artwork).
  3. In your email include: your name, city & state, phone and email. Youth entries must include age.

CATEGORIES: Only San Antonio and South Texas adult and youth poets are eligible. Three categories: Adults; Youth, ages 13 – 17; Youth, age 12 and under.

WHERE TO FIND CONTEST GUIDELINES AND ARTWORKS(best viewed in museums or at museum links):
You can read the contest guidelines including submission information at any of these links:

Gemini Ink: https://geminiink.org/
San Antonio Public Library: https://guides.mysapl.org/poetry/ekphrastic
Arts Alive San Antonio: http://artsalivesa.com/
Bihl Haus Arts: https://bihlhausarts.org/

The Briscoe Western Art Museum
The McNay Art Museum
Ruby City
San Antonio Museum of Art
The Witte Museum

JUDGES: Jim LaVilla Havelin, 2024 National Poetry Month coordinator, Eddie Vega, award-winning poet, and Linda Simone, poet, artist, educator, will select up to three poems per artwork for each category.

WINNERS will be notified via email by March 21 and must attach their winning poem(s) as a PDF in an email to EkphrasticPoetryContest1@gmail.com with email subject line: (ADULT or YOUTH) Winning Poem PDF – (Your Name). Winning poems will be posted at online sites throughout April, National Poetry Month.

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