Jean Ciavonne Poetry Contest: Destination, Poetry Place


Choose a country you will magically arrive in, real or imaginary. Then use your best sensory details to describe your first impressions in the form of a poem. Think about landscape, people, animals, foods, even emotions and ideas you have as you begin to orient yourself.

Think about all of your five senses. What do you sense around you in this new place?

You are allowed to research your country to learn a little about what you might encounter, or simply to use your imagination to describe a real or imaginary place. Include the name of your country in the title of your poem.

We will select six winners, who will receive $50 each, a book, and a Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration poster!

Open to all fourth and fifth graders in the Pikes Peak region.

Entries may be mailed to:
The Jean Ciavonne Poetry Contest
c/o Nancy Maday
Pikes Peak Library District
PO Box 1579
Colorado Springs, CO 80901

Or, email entries to Nancy Maday at

Questions? Call (719) 531-6333, x6074.

Winners will be announced in April. An award ceremony will be held April 13, 2019.


  1. One entry per student. Teachers are urged to review poems and submit no more than five per class.
  2. Each poems must be the original work of the student.
  3. Poems will be judged on originality, including poem title and adherence to the theme.
  4. Submit two typed, double-spaced copies of each poem on 8.5” x 11” paper. No handwritten copies or illustrations accepted. Please include on a separate piece of paper: name, phone number, home address, school name and address, and teacher and principal’s name. Poems will not be returned. Please keep a copy.
  5. Entries must be postmarked by Sat., March 2, 2019.

Submission of a poem constitutes full permission to exhibit, use and publish the poem for any purpose – printed or electronic media – and to publish the name, school, and photographs of the student without compensation.


Who was Jean Cliavonne. I know she wrote a children’s book titled “Carlos, Light the Farolito” but who is she? What’s the story behind the library holding a poetry contest in her name?

Hello - thank you for asking about Jean Ciavonne. The Jean Ciavonne Poetry Contest for 4th and 5th grade students in the Pikes Peak Region was established as a memorial to Jean Ciavonne, a retired Broadmoor school teacher, author, and poet, who died in 1994.
In 1998, Jean’s husband, Michael Ciavonne, and his family and friends established the Jean Ciavonne Poetry Contest Fund through the Pikes Peak Library District. The interest from this fund and subsequent donations will allow the contest to continue as an annual event.
This year's contest is called "Destination: Poetry Place". Entries are due on March 2, 2019. Be sure to enter!

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