Poetry-Written and Performance

The Poetry category, both Written and Spoken, is a unique category, involving either a live performances and/or a Material submission.

If you are registering as a Spoken Poetry performance, you must be pre-registered and present to perform and to receive awards. If you are registering as a Written submission, you must have your poem submitted by the date listed on the website.

Suggestions for preparing for the ONAYALF:

For a Spoken Poetry Performance:

  • Pre-register online
  • Focus on Native language use
  • Keep a seven-minute time limit (plus two minutes for set-up and exiting the stage)
  • Use props, costumes and Native regalia

Guidelines for your ONAYALF performance:

Please do not:

  • Use scripts, notes or cheat-sheets
  • Speak in English
  • Use food, animals or organic materials (grass, bark, leaves) in the performance

For a Written Poetry Submission:

  • Pre-register online- You must pre-register to receive t-shirts and awards. Please do so as early as possible.
  • Printed, 12 pt. font, maximum of 2-3 pages
  • Can be handwritten
  • Follow the instructions on the Material Submission Form.

Guidelines for your ONAYALF performance:

Please do not:

  • Plagiarize. Work must be original.
  • The poem should be primarily in English, with quotes in Native Languages allowed.

Poetry Delivery

We must receive all material submissions on or before the material submissions deadlineposted on the website for pre-judging. We accept these electronic formats: .doc, .docx, .pdf. You can email, print and mail or drop off your entry. Please be sure to include your name, school and teacher’s name, if applicable, tribal affiliation and Native languages you speak (or are learning) at the top of the first page.

If you email your essay, label the file this way: ONAYALF_year_Poetry_Lastname. For

example: ONAYALF_2017_Poetry_Johnson

Follow the instructions on the Material Submission Form.

Judging Poetry

Material submissions are pre-judged before the Fair. A panel of at least three elders, Native language teachers, language advocates, and/or university professors will judge poems on these criteria:

  • Goal of the poetry
  • Spirit of the poetry
  • Impact of written expression
  • Clarity of writing

We request that the author of the winning poetry read it aloud at the Fair if present. Students performing in multiple categories may experience scheduling conflicts. We try to avoid this, but help us out and let us know if you see a potential problem.

Questions? Comments? Help? Contact [email protected] or 918-781- 6270.