"There is no one right way to read a poem. Good readers vary greatly, and even the same reader rarely reads a poem twice in exactly the same way."
-M. H. Abrams, Founding General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature
As of November 1, entries are no longer being accepted for the 2013 contest. To view a list of finalists and vote for your favorite, please go
Voting is open until December 8th, 2013.
We are happy to announce the third annual Norton Anthology Student Recitation Contest!
Between September 15 and November 1, college and high school students worldwide are invited to submit an original video recitation of one of the four works listed below:
- Sonnet 43 (“How do I love thee?”) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (The Norton Anthology of English Literature and The Norton Anthology of World Literature)
- Sonnet 130 (“My mistress’ eyes) by William Shakespeare (The Norton Anthology of English Literature and The Norton Anthology of World Literature)
- “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson (The Norton Anthology of American Literature and The Norton Anthology of African American Literature)
- [Because I could not stop for Death - ] by Emily Dickinson (The Norton Anthology of American Literature and The Norton Anthology of World Literature)
Submissions must be sent between September 15, 2013, and November 1, 2013, and must be under 5 minutes in length. To be considered, the recitation must be of a work from the above list.
Memorization is encouraged but not required. Finalists will be selected based on the quality of the recitation, but creativity will also be taken into account.
Who can enter:
The contest is open to college and high school students worldwide. Employees of Norton and their children are not eligible, nor are the children of Norton authors.
Please email video submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org between September 15, 2013, and November 1, 2013. To be considered, videos must be sent as links to online uploads (like YouTube links). Along with the video, please send the following information:
1) Name of entrant
2) Email address
3) Type of student (college or high school)
4) Name of school
5) Work recited
Eligible submissions will be judged by W. W. Norton in-house editors, who will select finalists for each of the four works; the finalists’ recitations will be featured on the W. W. Norton website. Once the recitations are posted, the public and a panel of Norton editors will vote for their favorite videos. Four winners will be selected, one for each work.
Each winner will receive a $200 Barnes & Noble gift certificate and will have his or her name featured on the acknowledgments page of a Norton Anthology.
Please send questions via email (email@example.com) or tweet (@NortonAnthology).
For updates on the contest, lists of works to choose from, and to find out when the finalists will be posted for voting, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!