Poetry & Music Project 20/21

Last fall, Opera Omaha and the Nebraska Writers Collective invited students in grades K-12 from Nebraska and Iowa to submit works of poetry on themes of Emotion, Connection, Uncovering History, Stuck in Place / Getting Un-Stuck.
From the pool of poetry submissions, project composers Matt Browne and Frances Pollock selected pieces to set to original music. The Poetry & Music Project is not a contest, as the composers select poems based on what inspires them.
The selected poets will have the opportunity to participate with the composers in upcoming workshops to further develop the piece with the composer and musicians, participating in the creation process. The completed works will be performed by Opera Omaha’s Holland Community Opera Fellows, premiering during a virtual concert in May 2021.
Now in its fourth year, The Poetry & Music Project is produced in continued partnership with Nebraska Writers Collective and The American Opera Project and supported in part by Humanities Nebraska.
All poems submitted to the project and original music will be available online in May 2021.

Project Partners

Themes for Poetry Submissions

Uncovering History
Stuck in Place / Getting Un-Stuck

View 20/21 Project Prompts and Examples

Writing Workshops

Before the submission deadline, Opera Omaha and Nebraska Writers Collective facilitated writing workshops focused on poetry writing for music. All workshops were virtual, free, and created to meet teacher and classroom needs. Over 500 elementary, middle and high school students across the state took part in virtual Poetry & Music writing workshops.

Project Timeline

September 2020 - Submissions Open
October & November 2020 - Writing Workshops
November 2020 - Submission Deadline
December 2020 - Composers Select Poems
January 2021 - Poets of Selected Pieces Notified, Composers Writing Time
March 2021 - Music Workshop with Composers and Poets of the Selected Pieces
April 2021 - Composers Submit Final Pieces
May 2021 - Poetry & Music Project Concert Performance

Submission Guidelines

Please Note Submissions are closed for the 20/21 Poetry & Music Project

Open to All K-12 Students in Nebraska and Iowa
Poems should be on the themes, but do not need to use suggested prompts
Students may submit up to 2 poems
All work must be original
Poems should be in PDF or Word file format
Poems may be in any structure, but will be more conducive to being set to music if they are under 250 words

For More Information
Contact: Lauren Medici | Opera Omaha Director of Engagement Programs
Lmedici@operaomaha.org | 402-346-7372

Poetry & Music Project is supported by