Email signup

Local bards invited to summon their inner John Keats for county library’s poetry contest

Fairfax County Poet Laureate Danielle Badra’s recent Arab-American Heritage Poetry Reading included a workshop on Ghazal, an Arabic verse form (courtesy ArtsFairfax)

O, muse, send me your cleverest rhymes, your liveliest verses and most starry-eyed odes to nightingales.

So says Fairfax County Public Library, as time ticks down on its second annual poetry contest.

Launched on April 1, in time with the start of National Poetry Month, the Poetic Musings competition invites anyone who lives, works or studies in the county to submit a poem for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card, a certificate and a moment in the limelight.

The contest was first held in 2022 as part of the library system’s year-long celebration of literacy, FCPL Director Jessica Hudson says.

“We were thrilled with the participation last year!” Hudson told FFXnow by email. “FCPL supports literacy in all its forms, including poetry, and plans to continue with some of its Year of Literacy initiatives, including the poetry contest.”

Where last year’s contest focused on the theme of love, the 2023 version is accepting one or two-page poems written in the specific styles of free verse, rhymes or odes. Two teen and adult winners will be chosen from each style by a panel of judges that includes 2022-2024 Fairfax County Poet Laureate Danielle Badra.

Participants must be at least 15 years old and a resident, worker or student in the county. The window for online submissions will close on May 7.

The winners will be announced on June 5 and get a celebration on June 29 at Burke Centre Library (5935 Freds Oak Road), where they’ll read their poems.

In addition to the poetry contest, Fairfax County has been marking National Poetry Month with video readings by professional poets, local elected officials and other community members.

ArtsFairfax also collaborated with the Fairfax County Park Authority to kick off Badra’s “Poetry in the Parks” initiative with an Arab-American Heritage Month poetry reading last Saturday (April 15). The event at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly drew around 50 attendees, including 12-15 people who stayed for a workshop after the readings, the local arts agency says.

Upcoming “Poetry in the Parks” events include a Pride Month poetry reading at Ellanor Lawrence Park on June 24 and a “Poetry Beneath the Stars” event on Aug. 19 at Turner Farm Park in Great Falls.

Recent Stories

Good Monday evening! Today we published 1 articles that were read a total of 1694 times on FFXnow alone, so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles…

(Updated at 6:35 p.m.) Two people have died, and two more have been hospitalized in an apparent shooting and stabbing at the Tysons View Apartments in Idylwood. A 20-year-old man…

Good Friday evening! Today we published 6 articles that were read a total of 10172 times on FFXnow alone, so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles…

The Faraday Park neighborhood has officially welcomed another tenant: Eve’s Garden Lounge and Bar. The Asian fusion restaurant celebrated its soft opening on Friday, May 12 at 11207 Reston Station…

Are you seeking a confidential space where you can explore your emotions, overcome challenges, and find inner peace? Look no further than our dedicated psychotherapy service! We understand that life can be overwhelming at times, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

At Peaceful Mind Solutions, our passion lies in helping individuals like you navigate life’s complexities and find the strength to thrive. Our skilled and compassionate therapist is committed to creating a warm, non-judgmental environment where you can express your thoughts and feelings openly. With our personalized approach, we tailor each session to address your unique needs and empower you to overcome obstacles.

Through evidence-based techniques and a deep understanding of the human mind, our therapist will guide you on a transformative journey of self-discovery. Whether you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or simply seeking personal growth, we’re here to provide guidance and practical tools for lasting change.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

VHC Health hosted its annual Trauma Survivors Day, honoring four former trauma patients and their care team on Tuesday, May 16. For many of these patient honorees, this event was the first time they were reunited with the team of healthcare professionals who cared for them after their injury. Both the healthcare team and the honorees expressed gratitude for the opportunity to thank, hug, and simply see one another again after their experience in the Trauma Center.


In May of 2021, the Commonwealth of Virginia designated VHC Health as a Level II Trauma Center. This designation filled a critical community need; previously, the closest trauma center for Arlington County was in Fairfax or Washington, DC. Since becoming a Level II Trauma Center, VHC Health has provided care for nearly 2,000 trauma patients each year.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Charity Live Music Concert

Ukrainian Charity fundraiser concert at South County High School on June 13, 2023.

All proceeds will go toward Ukrainian funds “Mriya Charity” and “Dai Lapu Drug”, that help kids and animals affected by war.

The concert will include performances by

Active Bystander: TECC Training

For any incident, like the Las Vegas massacre to the Boston Marathon bombings, citizens play a role in saving lives in the minutes following an attack. It is imperative that we provide the knowledge and skills necessary to help our


Subscribe to our mailing list