Ekphrastic Challenges

Our Ekphrastic Challenges invite poets to respond to specific pieces of artwork. The challenges are announced via our Newsletter and our Instagram @theweesparrowpoetrypress page. Emily Tee, the judge and editor for these challenges, reads all the poems submitted and selects one winner who receives a Wee Sparrow Poetry Press notebook.  A selection of poems for each challenge along with the artwork are featured in our newsletter and the winner is announced on Instagram, where we showcase their words. It is free to submit to each challenge, with the option of making a donation via our Buy Us a Coffee page. 

Submission Guidelines

Poets are invited to submit one poem per challenge by email to theweesparrowpoetrypress@gmail.com. Poems must be 20 lines maximum (not including the title). In the subject line please write "Ekphrastic Challenge + name of artist" and include your poem in the body of the email (no attachments) along with your full name as you would like to see it published and your country of residence. Poems which do not relate to the artwork or do not adhere to our inclusivity statement will not be considered.

We are looking for text-only poems at present not multimedia or art/text combinations. 

Please do not send revisions, corrections, or changes to your poem after you have submitted. Take time to read and edit your poem before you send it in.  


We are looking for submissions of artwork for our ekphrastic challenges. Do you draw or paint? Then submit your artwork as a jpeg attachment to theweesparrowpoetrypress@gmail.com Write "Ekphrastic Challenge Artwork" in the subject line and your full name and country of residence in the body of the email.

Watercolour by Colin Thom

Artwork by Jane Hanson

The Sign Said: No Fishing. No Swimming.


Our galvanized bucket sloshed with minnows

like city kids crowded in a public

pool, exposed, clueless; the raised lid allowed

them to breathe, to stay lively for the hook.


Twilight, fishing was                          serious business.

Father poked and stirred     the orange oak coals.

Fish he’d caught blew                     bubbles in a lidless

white bucket.   We kept casting,      minnows close,

the lid down, until our gold hooks were     bare.

When we plunged our hands into   the warm slime

the last two slipped through our thumbs and fingers.

They were too slick, too quick—    us short on time.


Minnows gone, we dug deep and pulled out one worm.

We ate.        We waded out neck-deep.   We swam.



Robert E. Ray


Artwork by Maria Berenguer Lahoz 

Artwork by Adrian Pitts

Artwork by Stephanie Hamer

Artwork by Žofia Katriňáková

Plastic Mero sculpture by Bordalo ii