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Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred


Monday, August 1, 2022



Entry Fees

$15.00 with limited scholarships available


One (1) $500 Grand Prize, Three (3) Runners-Up will receive $100 each


About the Contest

For over thirteen years, the Poetry of the Sacred contest has received thousands of submissions touching every aspect of spiritual life. Poetry has been called ‘the language of the soul’ and this annual contest encourages poets to awaken the reader to the deep meaning and beauty of a contemplative life. Poems are evaluated based on literary excellence, authenticity and spiritual tenor.

Contest Details

Our judges will select three honorable mentions to receive $100, and one winning poem to be awarded the $500 Thomas Merton Grand Prize in Poetry of the Sacred. The winning poems will be published in an upcoming issue of Parabola Magazine, an internationally recognized magazine devoted to the sacred.

Submission Details

* Entry fee of $15 per one poem, non-refundable. (Some entry fee scholarships are available on a limited first come, first serve basis. Please email [email protected] for details.)
* Online submissions only. (If you are unable to submit online, please email [email protected] or call 502-583-3100 Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm Eastern)
* Submissions should be one single piece of work. Please do not include multiple poems in an entry.
* Submissions should be less than 1,000 words.
* Submitted work should be unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are expected and welcome.
* Poem must be anonymous—the author’s name or address must not appear anywhere on the attached document containing the poem.
Final poems will be selected in September and all applicants will be notified of the winning poem and three honorable mentions via email.  Announcements will also be made online and through the general Center for Interfaith Relations and Festival of Faiths email communications. The Center for Interfaith Relations’ mission is to celebrate the diversity of faith traditions, express gratitude for our unity and strengthen the role of faith in society through common action.

Contact Information

Will Hollis - [email protected]


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