Literary Programs

Page updated on Jan 20, 2021 at 12:59 PM

DASHing Words in Motion

DASHing Words in Motion - 2021 Poetry Contest

The “DASHing Words in Motion” poetry contest brings recognition to writers, promotes an appreciation of poetry as an art form, and provides inspiration to individuals using the Alexandria Transit Company’s DASH Buses and Trolleys. The competition is to encourage quality writing by writers 16 years or older, who live, work or study in the City of Alexandria, VA. The “DASHing Words in Motion” program provides a venue for writers to display their poems. Participation in the “DASHing Words in Motion” is voluntary.  Selected poets are not reimbursed for submittals or participation in the program. 

Eligibility:  
The eligibility requirements are:
• Applicants are emerging or established writers and poets.
• Applicants live, work or study in the City of Alexandria, VA.
• Applicant should be a minimum of 16 years of age.  
• Members of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts and City of Alexandria staff are ineligible to apply.

Content:
• The competition’s primary goal is to encourage a broad range of ideas and subject matter.  Possible inspirational ideas might stem from:
   o The Alexandria Transit Company’s DASH buses motto is “Keep Alexandria Moving” 
   o Bus stops, neighborhoods, buses, roads, or other modes of transportation within the City of Alexandria 
   o Community and connection

Entry Rules: 
• Applicants must apply online. Mailed applications will not be considered.  
• Up to three poems per person can be submitted
• Submitted poems must be previously unpublished
• Poems must be 30 words or less; Poems must be no longer than 15 lines.     
• Poems should be titled
• Poetry must be uploaded as a 1-sided WORD document; Font size should be 12-point. Do not upload photocopies from books or magazines. 
• Do not place name or address on poetry pages.
• Should your poem(s) be selected, you may be asked for a short bio and photograph. 

Deadline:  Friday, February, 12, 5 p.m. Submission Link

Notification:  Selected poets will be notified in March 2021.       

Selection Process:  The entries will be juried by a Task Force. Each poem will be reviewed based on the following criteria:
• Clarity of theme: Traveling/Transportation/Connection/Community
• Readability/poem structure/clarity/meter/rhyme; 
• Appropriateness for the competition;
• Creativity and Memorability.

Collaborating Partners:  The “DASHing Words in Motion” poetry contest is a project of the Arts Division of the Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities along with the following collaborating partners: Alexandria Transit Company (DASH); and KaNikki Jakarta, City’s Poet Laureate.

For more information contact the Office of the Arts, Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities by phone at 703.746.5565, by email at arts@alexandriava.gov or by visiting alexandriava.gov/Arts.  


DASHing Words in Motion - 2020 Poets Named

The City of Alexandria Office of the Arts and the Alexandria Transit Company joined forces to host a poetry contest “DASHing Words in Motion.”  The poetry contest encouraged quality writing by writers and poets 16 years or older, who lived, worked or studied in the City of Alexandria.

The 2020 winning poets were selected from 42 submissions. The poets are: Nesima Aberra, Michelle Berberet, Jonathan Fritsch, Justin Jacques, Emily Lynch, Sarah McLewin, Katie Niersbach, and Grace Rufus. KaNikki Jakarta, Poet Laureate’s poem, along with the eight winning poets, will have their poems displayed inside the DASH buses and trolleys from April through the end of August. 

For additional information about the Poet Laureate and other literary programs, email the Poet Laureate at poet@alexandriava.gov; call Cheryl Anne Colton at 703.746.5565 or email: cherylanne.colton@alexandriava.gov.

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact cherylanne.colton@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.5565, Virginia Relay 711.

"DASHing Words in Motion" Winning Poets and their poems:

"2020 DASHing Words in Motion"

"2019 DASHing Words in Motion"

"2108 DASHing Words in Motion"

"2017 DASHing Words in Motion!"

"2016 DASHing Words in Motion!"

"2015 DASHing Words in Motion!"

"2014 DASHing Words in Motion!"

Poet Laureate Program 
PLKaNikkiJakarta
KaNikki Jakarta
Poet Laureate 2019-2022 


The Office of the Arts announces the appointment of KaNikki Jakarta as the new Poet Laureate. Ms. Jakarta replaces Wendi Kaplan whose term as Poet Laureate ends at the end of March.

Ms. Jakarta is an award-winning Performance Poet who has toured the US and UK performing poetry. KaNikki founded, facilitated, and/or hosted 15 presentations in the last 17 years ranging from open mics, award ceremonies, conferences, and workshops. With over 26 years of writing and almost 2 decades on the poetry scene, KaNikki has opened for Jill Scott, Raheem DaVaughn, and Lyfe Jennings. She has authored 3 works of fiction, 2 poetry collections, a poetry cd, and a memoir. She aims to utilize her Public Relations/Marketing Degree and love for the arts to promote creative writing, reading of literature, and literacy with poetry. KaNikki is an advocate for the art of poetry and believes that positive poetry can connect people from all walks of life. She brings to the role of poet laureate a passion to create platforms of safe spaces to highlight the talents of other artists. Ms. Jakarta writes and recites what she calls “real life fiction.” She says, “If you think something I say on the microphone may change your life; you’re probably right.”

The role of the City's Poet Laureate is to promote appreciation of poetry as an art form; to encourage creative writing and reading of all forms of literature; and to promote literacy through poetry. The Poet Laureate serves a three year term.

Poetry by KaNikki Jakarta

A Community's Mission
Absolution
Alexandria Connected
Alexandria The Beautiful
Benjamin Thomas Thompson - Tale of Two Names
Charles E. Beatley Library Birthday Poem
DASHing Words Poem - ON TIME 2020
EARTH MATTERS for Earth Day
FREE-ISH
Joseph McCoy Revamp
Mother Alexandria
NEVER FORGOTTEN, For the 1700 of Freemen's Cemetery
POSSIBLE
TAKING SOLACE IN SOLITUDE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              EVEN A TREE

DASHing Words in Motion

Poet Laureate Program:

In 2004, then Councilman Ludwig Gaines proposed the designation of a Poet Laureate for the City of Alexandria. In response, a steering committee of citizens and City staff was established to develop a protocol for selecting a Poet Laureate. On April 25, 2006, City Council received the proposal submitted by the steering committee. Following a public hearing on May 20, 2006, City Council unanimously approved the establishment of the Poet Laureate program.  

Past Poet Laureates:

Wendi R. Kaplan, 2016-2019
Ryan Wojtanowski, 2016
Tori Lane Kovarik, 2013-2016
Amy Young, 2010-2013 
Mary McElveen. 2007-2010 
Jean Elliot, 1979-1999 

For additional about the Poet Laureate and other literary programs, email the Poet Laureate at poet@alexandriava.gov, call Cheryl Anne Colton at 703.746.5565 or email cherylanne.colton@alexandriava.gov.

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact Cherylanne.colton@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.5565, Virginia Relay 711.

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