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Caldwell Poetry Award


A LSWA winter term tradition established in 2006 through a generous gift from Jeanne and Will M. Caldwell to the College of LSA, the Caldwell Awards gift cash prizes ranging from $100-$500 to the most outstanding poems and performances in each of the below categories. The winning written poems are also published in LSWA's annual Arts and Literary Journal. We will announce winners at the End-of-Year Festival on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 at 7 pm, and the performance will be on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 at 7 pm. ALL current LSWA students, as well as LSWA alumni who are still enrolled as undergraduate students at U of M, are encouraged to submit their work here by Friday, March 22, 2024! The competition is divided into the folllowing categories (with new performance subcategories added for 2024!), and you can participate in as many categories as you wish. Please reach out to with any questions!  

1. Written Poetry

Students may submit up to five written poems, which will be judged anonymously by a carefully selected committee of student leaders/alumni and faculty members.

2. Performances

Please keep poems to about 3 minutes, and keep other recitations and artist talks to about 5 minutes. 

  • Original Poetry Recitation: Students will read their own poem. (one poem only)
  • Interpretive Poetry Recitation: Students will read another poet's work. (one poem only)
  • Non-Poetry Recitation (NEW for 2024!): Perform one oral recitation that is not a poem. This could include (for example) a theatrical monologue, a tight-five standup routine, a mini-Ted talk, a quirky slideshow, or a piece of Moth-style storytelling.
  • Artist Talk (NEW for 2024!): Present 3-5 images of your original artwork to the audience and talk about it in an interesting and meaningful way.  You may want to tell a story that inspired your work, discuss your motivations as an artist, describe your media and methods, and/or share anything else that you think will help the audience understand and connect with your work.

Students must submit their performance pieces in advance here by Friday, March 22, 2024.

3. LSWA Alumni

Former Lloyd Scholars still at U of M (2020-2021, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023) may also submit written poems or performance pieces, as noted above, but will be judged in a separate category. The same due dates and application process applies. 



*Important note for students receiving need-based financial aid: Financial assistance from all sources during the academic year factors into the ongoing review of students' financial aid eligibility now and in the future. If your total financial aid, including any new offer, exceeds your eligibility for financial assistance this academic year, your aid may be limited in a future term or reduced from previously received assistance. This policy has affected some Caldwell winners in the past, resulting in reductions to the amounts of prize money they were able to receive. Last year, based on conversations with both the UM Office of Financial Aid and the LSA Finance Office, we adjusted our process for distributing payments; following these adjustments, all 2023 Caldwell winners were able to receive their full prize amounts without complications. We are hopeful that this year’s Caldwell Prizes also will not cause conflicts with financial aid allotments in most cases. In the event that any prize money you receive does get flagged as a conflict with your financial aid package, we can help you schedule a consultation with someone in the OFA who may be able to help mitigate the issue. You can learn more about financial aid terms and conditions on the Office of Financial Aid's website. If you have questions or want to consult with someone about your particular situation, please contact OFA.