NEOMED’s National Poetry Competition Accepting Student Entries Now

Poems are now being accepted for Northeast Ohio Medical University’s annual William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition, which is open to students enrolled in programs leading to the Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy degree at colleges of medicine or osteopathy in the United States and Canada.

Submissions will be judged by the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University. The editors of the Journal of Medical Humanities will review the winning poems and consider them for publication.

The top three poets will be awarded $300, $200 and $100 respectively. In addition, the three winners will be invited to visit NEOMED on April 17, 2020, to read their poems. All travel expenses will be paid by NEOMED’s Department of Family and Community Medicine.

Entries must be postmarked no later than Dec. 31, 2019.

A NEOMED tradition

Organized through the Department of Family and Community Medicine, the competition is named for the American physician-writer William Carlos Williams (1883-1963), best known for his spare, imagistic poetry. You may recognize “The Red Wheelbarrow” or the often-imitated “This is Just to Say.”


Nearly 400 students from around the country entered the competition last year, which culminated in a reading featuring the first-, second- and third-place competition winners, as well as physician-writer Mikkael Sekeres, M.D., of the Cleveland Clinic.

In the history of the competition, now in its 38th year, it wasn’t until 2016 that a NEOMED student was a top winner. That year, Ileana Horattas, M.D. (’18), then a College of Medicine student, tied for first place with a student from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

Could this be the year it happens again?

Entry guidelines

Contact with any questions. 

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