Only in Queens Poetry Contest presented by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the Queens Poet Laureate Maria Lisella commemorates the 230th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution and the 100th Anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State.

We are asking Queens public school students in fourth, seventh and eleventh grade to tell us what freedom means to them and help us celebrate the 230th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution and the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in New York State. It’s homework!

The goal of this poetry contest is to inspire and engage Queens students in a discussion about freedom, civil rights, diversity and civic participation through poetry, thought, research and conversation in the classroom and at home.

The contest is in collaboration with seven notable Queens cultural and historic organizations whose mission and programming are consistent with the contest’s goals. These organizations are listed below as resources for the poetry contest too. Each organization serves schoolchildren of all ages through robust educational programs. Each is a great place to visit on a class trip!


Statue Cruises, the official ticket and tour provider to the Statue of Liberty Monument, is a supporting partner of the Only in Queens Poetry Contest. The Statue of Liberty stands 305 feet tall in New York harbor and has welcomed millions of immigrants to the United States.

The Only in Queens Poetry Contest begins April 3rd, 2017 when the contest is distributed to Queens public school students in fourth, seventh and eleventh grades as a homework assignment. The homework assignment will be due on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Principals in Queens will acknowledge the winners of their school and send the top winner to the semi-final round. Semi-finalists will be selected by a panel of educators from Queens North, Queens South and Affinity Support Centers in Queens. A panel convened by the Queens Poet Laureate will select contest finalists, who will be announced at the end of May and invited to a culminating awards ceremony at Queens Borough Hall.