“HOPE IN WORDS”: 2022 #DouglassWeek Poetry Competition*

deadline for submissions: 
January 31, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
contact email: 

#DouglassWeek is excited to invite poets, writers and other creators from around the world to submit entries for the second annual #Douglassweek poetry competition. This year, the theme of “Intergenerational Conversations” may inspire your creations.


#DouglassWeek is a global collaborative event series commemorating Frederick Douglass and other changemakers, past and present. #DouglassWeek 2022 will be held February 10-15, 2022, in Washington, DC. The week of events is organized by The Globe Lane Initiative in partnership with a wide network of scholars, historians, and researchers, along with artists, musicians, poets, community groups and activists. Frederick Douglass moved his family to Washington, DC from Rochester, NY in 1872. 150 years later, #DouglassWeek will remember and celebrate the importance of the Douglass family to the city and explore what their stories mean to issues of identity, race, independence and equal rights in the United States today.


The poetry competition is an opportunity to reflect on and respond to Douglass’ life, the Douglass family, as well as his family’s move to Washington after their Rochester home was destroyed by fire. Submissions may wish to explore themes and topics such as family bonds, relationships, shared stories, intergenerational conversations and challenges, building and establishing a new life, family life and its importance, stories of new beginnings, or establishing foundations upon which success, inspiration and new lives could be constructed. We welcome your creativity and your ideas!


Submission guidelines:

  • Theme: Intergenerational Conversations

  • Poets of all ages from around the world are invited to submit their entries

  • Poems should be written in English and be 40 lines (max.) (not including the title)

  • Entries should respond to and reflect upon the contemporary relevance of Frederick Douglass, the role of (his) family and/or intergenerational issues and topics

  • Please send entries to info@douglassweek.org, with the subject line “#DouglassWeek Poetry Competition”

  • #DouglassWeek and the Poetry Competition are dedicated to diversity, equality, and inclusion

  • Closing date for submissions: January 31st, 2022 


The winning poem will receive a small cash prize and will be showcased during #Douglassweek 2022. A performance of the winning poem during #DW 2022 is also planned. 


Please contact us with any questions at info@douglassweek.org. Good luck!


The title of the competition is based on Frederick Douglass’s comment in My Bondage and My Freedom, "... when I heard the words “abolition,” or “abolition movement,” mentioned, I felt the matter one of a personal concern; and I drew near to listen, when I could do so… There was HOPE in those words.”