Moving Words Adult Competition 2023

Moving Words

Moving Words makes poetry a part of daily life for commuters riding Arlington Transit (ART) by replacing advertising placards inside public buses with poems by local poets. Moving Words was launched in 1999 during National Poetry Month and is sponsored by Arlington Transit and the Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington County.

Call for Submissions 

From December 15th to February 15th, we are looking for poems of 10 lines or less that will be displayed inside ART buses between March and September 2023. This year's competition will be judged by Arlington Poet Laureate Holly Karapetkova!

Seven poems will be selected to be printed on colorful placards and displayed prominently on area buses, enlivening the ride for thousands of commuters. Each winner will also receive a $250 honorarium. Winning poems will be posted on ArlingtonArts.org and will be archived on the Arlington County CommuterPage.com website.

Poets who live within the D.C. Metro transit area (the Northern Virginia counties Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun, and the cities Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church; the District of Columbia; and the Maryland counties Montgomery and Prince George's) and are over 18 years old are eligible to enter. There is no fee to enter.

About the Judge

Holly Karapetkova is the author of two award-winning books of poetry, Towline, winner of the Vern Rutsala Poetry Prize from Cloudbank Books, and Words We Might One Day Say, winner of the Washington Writers’ Publishing House Prize for Poetry. Her poetry, prose, and translations have appeared recently in The Southern Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Blackbird, Poetry Northwest, and many other places. She is a professor in the Department of Literature and Languages at Marymount University in Arlington where she lives with her husband and two children.

Submission Form

The submission form will be available starting December 15, 2022. Please check back then!