The fifth annual MUSC Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest is accepting submissions from students across the state

March 9, 2023

The awards ceremony and reception to feature Lowcountry cuisine, poetry readings from finalists and a keynote address by Chris Singleton

We are pleased to announce the fifth annual MUSC Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest and Awards Ceremony. This is the fifth year for this collaboration with Charleston Poet Laureate Marcus Amaker. The contest theme is “Unity in the Community: A World United.”

Poetry submissions are currently being accepted from elementary school (grades K-5), middle school (grades 6-8), and high school (grades 9-12) students across the state of South Carolina through March 15. The poem submission guidelines and form are available here. Finalists will be invited to read their poems as part of the hybrid awards ceremony. First place prizes will include a Chromebook, hover board and bicycle.

The awards ceremony and reception will feature Lowcountry cuisine, live music, poetry readings from the contest finalists and more. Chris Singleton, local inspirational speaker and former pro athlete, will give the keynote address. This event is free and open to the public.

Attendance will be offered both in person on campus and online via Zoom. Advance registration for the reception is required, and the event link for virtual attendees will be emailed 24 hours prior to the event to those who register. The event will take place on Friday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m., in the MUSC Drug Discovery Building Auditorium.

For questions or more information, please email us at [email protected] or call 843-792-0701.

This annual contest honors acclaimed Charleston native, teacher and “Mother of the Movement” Septima P. Clark (1898-1987) for her dedication to service, education and equality. As a recipient of the 1979 Living Legacy Award from President, and 2002 Nobel Prize recipient, Jimmy Carter, she was known for developing literacy and citizenship workshops to promote civil rights and equality.  She was also recognized by the state of South Carolina in 1982 with South Carolina’s highest civilian award known as the Order of the Palmetto.


About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system, with a unique mission to preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates more than 3,000 students in six colleges – Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy – and trains more than 850 residents and fellows in its health system. MUSC brought in more than $297.8 million in research funds in fiscal year 2022, leading the state overall in research funding. For information on academic programs, visit

As the health care system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest-quality and safest patient care while educating and training generations of outstanding health care providers and leaders to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided at 14 hospitals with approximately 2,500 beds and five additional hospital locations in development; more than 350 telehealth sites, with connectivity to patients’ homes; and nearly 750 care locations situated in all regions of South Carolina. In 2022, for the eighth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets totaling $5.4 billion. The nearly 25,000 MUSC team members include a world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, students, affiliates and care team members who deliver and support groundbreaking education, research and patient care.