Call For Poems Gabriela Mistral Youth Poetry Contest

Anna Deeny Morales
Vice President & Special Events Committee

Un río suena siempre cerca.
Ha cuarenta años que lo siento.
Es canturía de mi sangre
o bien un ritmo que me dieron.

A river sounds ceaseless near.
For forty years I’ve sensed it.
It is the singsong of my blood
or a rhythm I was gifted.

From Tala (1938) by Gabriela Mistral (Translation by ADM)

Dear Friends,

The IN Series is proud to announce our Twelfth Annual Gabriela Mistral Youth Poetry Competition which honors the memory of Chilean poet, Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1945. A public schoolteacher, prolific poet and essayist, Mistral was an architect of public education in Latin America who defended the rights of women, minorities, indigenous populations, and children. The Gabriela Mistral Youth Poetry Competition celebrates the poetry of young people.

All young people between the ages 11 to 19 in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia are invited to submit poems on any topic in Spanish, English, Portuguese, any indigenous language of the Americas, or any combination of these languages.

This year we’re adding a new category to the competition called the Langston Hughes Translation Prize which will go to the best translation into the English language of a single poem from any other language.  


Submissions for original poetry and poetry translations accepted between February 18th and April 24th 2021! Please see the attached form for submission guidelines or go to

The Gabriela Mistral Youth Poetry Competition is made possible by our continued as well as new collaborations. We’re grateful for the ongoing, generous support and spirit of the Celtino Foundation. The Chancery of the Embassy of Chile welcomes us each year and will co-host our virtual awards ceremony in June. We’re proud to announce our new partnership with the editors of Plaza Pública, the Georgetown University Spanish and Portuguese Department Graduate Journal, who will publish winning poems in a special issue. And, we’re very excited to announce that the Library of Congress will invite all students who submit a poem to the competition to participate in a poetry workshop during Hispanic Heritage Month in October of 2021.

Please feel free to forward this call for original poems and poetry in translation to all young people between the ages of 11 and 19; literature, writing, and language teachers; as well as school and youth community program leaders.

Lastly, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at should you have any questions regarding the competition.


Anna Deeny Morales

Chair, Gabriela Mistral Youth Poetry Competition

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