Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown, author of one of the most widely acclaimed poetry collections of 2019, will judge the 2020 Beverly Hopkins Memorial Poetry Contest for high school students.

Sponsored by St. Louis Poetry Center, the deadline for submitting entries is March 1. 

Winners of the Beverly Hopkins Memorial Poetry Contest receive cash prizes — $225 for first place, $125 for second and $75 for third. Winners will have the opportunity to read their work at an awards ceremony on May 17. They and honorable-mention contestants will receive a free chapbook featuring their poems. 

Winners of the 2019 contest were:

Megan McGhee, first place, from Kirkwood High School; Ann Zhang, second place, from John Burroughs School; and Rachel Lyu, third place, from St. Louis University High School. 

Poets must be high school students living within 100 miles of St. Louis. Entrants may submit up to three poems that have not won previous awards. Poems already published in a high school publication may be submitted.

Students are encouraged to submit work independently. Teachers need permission from the contest coordinator to submit work on behalf of more than three students. Include the author’s name (no pen name needed) on each poem. Enclose a separate document with the author’s name, street address, phone number, email, high school grade, teacher’s name (if he or she encouraged or assigned the poems), and poem titles. No entry fee required.

Contest rules may also be found at

Mail entries to: 

St. Louis Poetry Center

High School Poetry Contest

3301 Washington Ave.  2D

St. Louis, MO 63103


Contestants may also email entries to Attach the poems and author information sheet as Word or PDF documents. 

The email and postmark deadline is March 1, 2020. For more information, contact contest coordinator Robert Lowes at