Kids in kindergarten through 12th grade can submit poems through July 16. 

The University of Arizona Poetry Center, Pima County Public Library and Arizona Public Media have all teamed up to host a poetry contest to highlight young voices.

The contest is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade who live in Pima, Santa Cruz and Cochise counties who are asked to write a poem based on this question: What do you want the world to know about how you feel?

"Part of what we really considered was the fact that there is so much going on in kids' universes right now, and they're experiencing a very broad range of emotions," says Cheryl Gerken, the educational outreach coordinator for Arizona Public Media. "We wanted to encourage kids to be creative and expressive in a very open way."

Submissions will be accepted through July 16 and all forms of poetry including bilingual and multi-lingual poems are encouraged. 

"We want to kids to be able to express themselves as they are most comfortable," Gerken says.  

The contest winners will be announced in August and the top three winners will have the chance to read their poems on Arizona Public Media and KXCI. They will also be turned into digital broadsides

Kids can also take part in virtual creative writing workshops with Lisa M. O'Neill to learn more about or inspire their poetry. 

The library has put together a collection of suggested books that kids of all grade levels can use to explore different poetry themes and styles. 

More information about the contest and poems can be submitted here

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