Institute for Contemplative Practice Poetry Contest


February – May, 2014

The Institute for Contemplative Practice is pleased to announce the 2014 Poetry of the Sacred Contest. Complete submissions must be received before midnight on May 1st to qualify. The winning poems will be published in Parabola magazine’s Winter 2014 issue. The first place winner will receive a monetary prize of $300, and the honorable mentions will each receive a monetary prize of $100. In addition, this year’s Final Judge, Hamza Yusuf, scholar, author, poet, and cofounder and current president of Zaytuna College, will read the winning poem on stage at the Center for Interfaith Relations’ Festival of Faiths, May 13 – 18 at Actors Theatre of Louisville.


• Only one unpublished poem written in English may be submitted.

• Poems should be limited to 100 lines.

• Email a PDF or Word document of your poem to *

• Subject line of the email should read: POETRY OF THE SACRED 2014

• In the body of the email please include: Name, address, phone number, and title of poem.

• Entry fee is $15.00 and checks should be made out to the Center for Interfaith Relations. **

• Mail entry fee to:

The Institute for Contemplative Practice

ATTN: Poetry of the Sacred Contest

Center for Interfaith Relations

415 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.

Louisville, KY 40202

• Submissions are considered complete upon arrival of entry fee.

• Only complete submissions received before midnight on May 1, 2014, will be included in the judging process.

• Poems will be judged on literary excellence, spiritual tenor, and human authenticity.

*With the Center for Interfaith Relations’ effort to live our core values, we ask that only an electronic copy of poems be submitted to save paper.

**Only US currency and checks are accepted.


Parabola magazine brings together the foremost writers and thinkers of our time to explore timeless themes of human existence through the wisdom of the sacred traditions, myth, symbol, art, folklore, and ritual. Each quarterly issue is organized around a central theme, and the Winter 2014 issue’s theme is Goodness. Parabola was also the winner of the 1996 and 1997 FOLIO Award for Editorial Excellence.


Hamza Yusuf is a scholar, poet, and cofounder and current president of Zaytuna College, located in Berkeley, California. He is an advisor to Stanford University’s Program in Islamic Studies and the Center for Islamic Studies at Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union. He also serves as vice-president for the Global Center for Guidance and Renewal. He has promoted Islamic sciences and classical teaching methodologies throughout the world, and has been a strong advocate for social justice, peace, and conviviality among peoples and places. Hamza Yusuf was ranked as “the Western world’s most influential Islamic scholar” by The 500 Most Influential Muslims, edited by John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin (2009). Click Here to explore some of his writing and poetry.


Now in its 19th year, the Festival of Faiths (FOF) is a week-long annual event held in Louisville, Kentucky, and presented by the Center for Interfaith Relations. The 2014 FOF will center around the theme Sacred Earth, Sacred Self, and will take place at Actors Theatre of Louisville May 13 – 18. To find out more about FOF please visit where details and the schedule of events will be posted. To receive a copy of the 2013 FOF catalogue please email


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