Monday, March 7, 2022

The University of Iowa School of Social Work conducts an annual, nationwide poetry contest to affirm and encourage the creative talent of social workers and to draw attention to social work as a profession.

The University of Iowa is known as “The Writing University” because of its many illustrious writing programs, including the #1 Creative Writing Workshop and #1 Nonfiction Writing Workshop in the nation. School of Social Work Professor and Director Mercedes Bern-Klug says, “At Iowa, we recognize writing not only as an honorable profession of its own, but also a critical, enriching part of many careers. Social work is no exception.” This summer, the school will host its 31st annual Creative Writing Seminar for social workers.

Poetry contest entries are judged by a panel consisting of social workers, writers, and/or poets based on poetic technique, effectiveness, style, and creativity, as well as accessibility and suitability for public display before a general audience. This year’s judges are Rachael Carlson, Director of Operations for Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature, and poet Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey.

The 2022 winning entries, which will be published in the April 2022 issue of The New Social Worker Magazine, are:

First Place
Devin Dierks
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Fulton, IL

Second Place
someday this pain will be useful to you
Honor Heindl
Washington University, George Warren Brown School of Social Work
Albuquerque, NM

Third Place
The Dead Weight
Sara Shilling
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Durham, NC