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Total eclipse brings poetry contest, recommended reading

April 1, 2024

Total eclipse brings poetry contest, recommended reading

A total eclipse, with the sun's disk entirely covered by the moon, and the sun's corona's showing as bright wisps against the blackness of space
Credit: NASA/Goddard/
Rebecca Roth

As Ohio gets ready to mark a once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, the Department of English is excited to announce an Undergrad Eclipse Poetry Contest! Undergraduate students of all majors are invited to submit an eclipse-inspired poem for a chance to win a cash prize, thanks to the generosity of a donor who wishes to remain anonymous ($1000 1st place prize, $500 2nd place prize, $250 3rd place prize). 

Poems may be in any form or style, not to exceed 5 pages; Professor Marcus Jackson, director of creative writing, will judge. Submit your entry by 11:59 p.m. on April 15 via the online submission form.

If you'd prefer to enjoy other artists' work related to eclipses, you're in luck! At a recent department meeting, faculty and staff brainstormed a brief list of works of literature and music related to eclipses. Whether writing, reading, or simply observing the movements of the heavens, enjoy!


  • The Biblical Book of Amos
  • The Transit of Venus / Shirley Hazzard 
  • The Strain / Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
  •  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court / Mark Twain


  • ‚ÄúTotal Eclipse," in Teaching a Stone to Talk / Annie Dillard
  • "Eclipses, Human Beings, and the Lower Creation" / Leigh Hunt
  • "The History of Astronomy," in Essays on Philosophical Subjects / Adam Smith


  • "It sounded as if the Streets were running"  / Emily Dickinson
  • "Samson Agonistes" / John Milton
  • "The Eclipse" / Hester Pulter 


  • Dark Side of the Moon / Pink Floyd
  • "Total Eclipse of the Heart" / Bonnie Tyler

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