2022 Musketman Shakespeare Poetry Award

Muspa invites submissions for this year’s PRIZE: $200 (Canadian) and publication in the Musketman Shakespeare blog. 

SUBMISSION: One poem per entrant. Unpublished 8 to 24 lines. Any subject. Mention Shakespeare. No entry fees. Award open to all countries and nationalities.

CONTACT: Provide your name and email address under the poem, and please send it to:

Muspa, 4 – 536 Third Street, London ON N5V 4R5, Canada. No entries via electronic channels. 

DEADLINE: 25 October 2022.  Submissions received after that date will be adjudicated for our 2023 award.  

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: We shall acknowledge receipt of and retain only the winning entry.  The rest will be discarded.  So, please, keep a copy of your poem. 

PUBLICATION: 25 December 2022.  The winning entry will be published in our blog and announced on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.  You may follow the blog or connect with Musketman Shakespeare on any of those four platforms. 

2021 Muspa Winner


by Paul Adrian Fried (USA)

Iambic feet are weak at first, then strong —

a gentle peck, and then a deeper kiss.

Pentameter’s a line that’s five feet long,

so iambs in pentameter, like this,

can help to make a sonnet’s rhythm soar.

Now quatrains — those are four-line sets, you see,

and Shakespeare often rhymed lines two and four

in each quatrain — and also one and three.

In quatrain one, the poem begins its way.

In two, it still unwinds and roams about.

In three, a twist or turn comes into play,

and then the final couplet. Have no doubt:

The sonnet, like a ballroom floor, can be

a form where words go leaping, dancing free.