Virginia Tech's College of Architecture and Urban Studies Diversity Committee, the Taskforce on Race and the Institution Undergraduate Subcommittee, and InnovationSpace are sponsoring a Twitter Poetry Competition to celebrate diversity and inclusive excellence at Virginia Tech.

Poem submissions may be made on Twitter only between Friday, Feb. 19 and Friday, March 19.

The aim of the competition is to further the university’s Principles of Community in terms of race and ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, communities with special needs in society and communities with historically restricted economic means. Contestants are urged to explore the manifestations of diversity of human life at Virginia Tech and how it enhances the university experience. The committee encourages poetry submissions in languages other than English.

To enter, you must have a Twitter account. Once you have set up a Twitter account, access the Twitter Poetry Competition site at

You must use the hashtag #VTPoetry when creating your entry. If you need technical assistance, the staff at InnovationSpace, 1140 Torgersen Hall, can help.

Competition rules

  • You must be an undergraduate student at Virginia Tech.
  • Poems are restricted to 140 characters.
  • You must use the hashtag #VTPoetry when creating your entry.
  • Each student may submit up to three entries.
  • Poems should portray inclusive excellence and diversity at Virginia Tech.
  • If the poem is written in a language other than English, you will be contacted for a translation.
  • All submissions become the property of Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies.
  • Any alleged violations of the University Acceptable Use Policy and Twitter’s User Conduct, to include but not limited to the posting of inappropriate posts, will be referred to Judicial Affairs.

Judging criteria

All submissions will be reviewed by a committee of faculty, staff, and students. Entries will be judged on three equally weighted criteria: originality, stylistic merit, and effective use of theme.


Awards will be announced at the Principles of Community Reception in March 2010, where winners will be invited to recite their poems.


  • First Place, University-wide: $300
  • First Place, College of Architecture and Urban Studies student: $300
  • Two Honorable Mentions: $100 each


Starting date: Feb. 19, 2010
Closing date: March 19, 2010
Winners will be announced at the Principles of Community Reception in March 2010.

The Virginia Tech Provost’s Taskforce on Race and the Institution consists of faculty, staff, and students with a demonstrated understanding of issues of race and racism and a commitment to institutional progress. The taskforce uses current research related to race in higher education to identify key issues that need to be addressed; review the current situation at Virginia Tech; review the university’s position papers; identify the most important issues at Virginia Tech that limit our progress in recruitment and retention, and in creating an inclusive, supportive climate; propose both short-term and long-term action items and strategies that promote institutional progress based on an analysis of best practices; and identify additional research or follow-up studies that are needed to extend or sustain the work of the taskforce.

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