Spolin & Dukes P.C. Prison Poetry Contest

***Newsflash! 2021 Prison Poetry Contest Winners Announced!***

Rules & Submission Information

The criminal appeals law firm Spolin & Dukes P.C. is soliciting poetry from prison inmates and the family of inmates.

The poem topic must relate to prisons, criminal justice, or rehabilitation. This contest is set up to encourage introspection, critical thinking, and artistic creation among the prison community.

You can download the submission form here.

Winners: One winner will be selected from each state. Additionally, one national winner will be selected.


  • $500 prize for a single national winner and $100 prizes for the best submissions from each prison (to be mailed to the inmate’s prison account).
  • Receipt of the “Prison Poetry Contest Award” certificate.
  • Publication of your name and poem on the firm’s website (optional).

Rules: To enter the competition, mail a paper to the law firm with the following information:

  1. Your name and CDCR #,
  2. Your poem, and
  3. Whether you would like the poem published on the firm’s website in the event that you win.

Eligibility: Inmate must be located in a prison in California, Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, or any federal prison. Mail submissions to Spolin & Dukes P.C. / 11500 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 400 / Los Angeles, CA 90064 with the words “Contest Submission” on the envelope.

Deadline: Submission deadline of April 15, 2024. Winners announced July 1, 2024.

Example Poems

Example Poem #1:
(The following example poem is a Haiku, which is composed of three lines.)

Turn my life around,
That has been my goal these years,
For myself and son.

Example Poem #2:
(The following example poem is a Couplet, which is composed of two lines that often rhyme.)

In reading and writing I find peace among the prison noise,
While life can get you down, these are some of my simple joys.

Submission Form

You can download the submission form here: Spolin & Dukes Prison Poetry Contest Submission Form.

Alternatively, you can simply copy the information below and submit that to the law firm in an envelope labeled “Contest Submission.”


Name: ___________________________________


Inmate #: _________________________________


(If you are a family member and not the inmate, please write your name and the inmate’s name and inmate number)


If you win, would you like your name and poem published on the firm’s website? (check one)

☐ Yes             ☐ No