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Leslie Jackson

A Woman of Admiration

Poetry Contest for High School Juniors and Seniors

Theme: Leslie Jackson was a pioneer for the modern woman of color. A woman of many talents and achievements, she often used her creative skills to succeed in the workplace and on the numerous committees and boards on which she served. Leslie also valued the importance of education and giving back. This contest is dedicated to her as a lover of the arts, especially music and poetry. Poetry submissions should be about a woman or a group of women whom you admire.

Eligibility: Open to all Illinois students enrolled in grades 11-12 (including homeschooled and tutored students).


  • All poems must be typed, with student name, name of school, and page number on the upper right corner of each page.
  • All poems must be original and unpublished. Copyrighted text will be disqualified.


  • Poems will be judged on originality, creativity, and adherence to theme. Illinois Poet Laureate Angela Jackson will make the final selections.

Deadline: Please email submissions by June 30, 2024 to Submission entries are limited to one selection per person. Winners will be announced in August 2024.


  • 1st place: $1,000
  • 2nd place: $250
  • 3rd place: $100