Sonnet Contest Events
We invite you to view videos of recent closing events (below), where our contest winners were announced and many read their sonnets live on Zoom or in person.
The Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest also sponsors other poetry related events. Click the links below to learn more:
First Tuesday Laureate Writers Series | Special Events
Tuesday | April 18 | 6:30pm
Blue Heron Coffeehouse | 162 W 2nd St
The Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest invites you to celebrate the opening of this year’s contest and National Poetry Month on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, from 6:30 ‑ 9:00 pm at the Blue Heron Coffeehouse (162 W 2nd St.). Light refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public. Live music by flute and piano duo Heidi Bryant and Meredith Mihm will accompany social time starting at 6:30pm.
The Extravagance of a Little Song: My Love Affair with the Sonnet
At 7:00pm, former Winona Poet Laureate Jim Armstrong will share his life-long fascination with the sonnet form. He will present a brief introduction to the modern sonnet and show how it can be used as an aid to invention and discovery. Armstrong will give examples from his own work, including some sonnets from his new book (coming in June). He will also perform a couple of famous sonnets (including one by Shakespeare) which he has set to music—reminding us that “sonnet” just means “little song” in Italian. Can we all write our own little songs? Of course we can. Come ready to be inspired.
Saturday | July 30, 2022 | 11:00am cdt
Winona Arts Center | 228 E 5th St
Watch the video of this event above. Click here to see the winners and read their sonnets.
On July 30th, we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest and the winners of the 2022 contest. Many of the winners read their sonnets over Zoom while locals gathered at the Winona Arts Center for the reading followed by a reception.
Each year, the contest winners are publicly announced at our closing event. Out of necessity, this celebration has been presented on Zoom for the past two years. This year it was a hybrid event held both on Zoom and at the Winona Arts Center in Winona, Minnesota.
Many winners read their sonnet at the event. For those who were not able to participate, actors from the Great River Shakespeare Festival read their sonnets.
Participation in the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest reached an all-time high in 2022! We received 700 sonnets, a 15% increase over 2021. They came from 42 US states plus Washington, DC and 10 other countries. We are particularly pleased with how many sonnets were submitted to the Youth category: 74, a 50% increase!
Winning an award in this year's contest is indeed a high honor. We also want to celebrate everyone who took a chance, followed their muse, and shared their poetry with us. As always, if you have any questions, please send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2021 Sonnet Contest Closing Event was held on Saturday, July 31st. The winners were announced and many read their sonnets at this online celebration. Actors from the Great River Shakespeare Festival and our judges also read winning sonnets.
Click on the video to view the recording of the Zoom event or watch it at facebook.com/sonnetcontest.
The 2020 Sonnet Contest CLOSING EVENT was held on Saturday, August 8, 2020, at 11:00am central time. For the first time, this event was held online. The winning sonnets were read by some of the winners and by members of the Great River Shakespeare Festival acting company. Click on the video to view the recording of the Zoom event or watch it at facebook.com/sonnetcontest.