Mankato Poetry Walk and Ride

Mankato Poetry Walk and Ride

The “Mankato Poetry Walk and Ride” is a biking and walking trail sign project and annual community poetry contest and exhibit. Winning poems are displayed along Mankato area bike/walking trails and in park for almost one year.  Poets are recorded reading their poems and those recordings are available via phone.

Mankato Poetry Walk Map

2015 Winners 2014 Winners  |  2013 Winners



Contest Information (2016)

Our goals for this year are:

  • Contest to run from April 15 and end May 10.  
  • Poems wselected for inclusion in this years walk by June 1
  • New signs posted by July 3

Note that two poems that won last year were never posted, due to logistical issues.  Those poems will be in this year's exhibit instead.

Poem Topic, Format and Length

Your poem may be about just about any topic and can be of any poetry form. They can be humorous or serious.   Some suggested poem topics are:

  • CityArt sculptures
  • Mankato history or culture
  • Nature - river, lakes, bluffs, fields of Southern Minnesota
  • Relationships and family
  • Exercise, moving, biking, walking, skiing, skating, Mankato Marathon

Due to the size of the sign boards, the poem must be 18 lines or less and each line can be no more than 40 characters.  NOTE: spaces, punctuation and blank lines COUNT.  The title does not count as one of the lines, but should be no more than about 20 -25 characters long.  Poems that exceed these limits may be disqualified, so please be sure to check.

How to Submit Poems

Due to the generosity of our sponsors, poem submission is FREE for those 18 and younger. Adults, 19 years of age or older, must pay a $6 entry fee to submit up to three poems. (1, 2 or 3 poems = $6, 4, 5 or 6 poems = $12, etc)

Questions or requests for information :

Sample poetry walk sign with a poemPrizes

Winners will be selected in each of these five categories.

  • Up to 3rd grade
  • 4th to 7th grade
  • 8th to 12th grade
  • adult - serious
  • adult - humorous

Prize award amounts to be announced soon.


The contest is open to anyone, of any age, living within a 75 mile radius of Mankato. (Check the map and your zip code here.)

  • Entries must be the original work of the entrant, previously published or unpublised. 
  • No vulgar, abusive, violent or sexually explicit language will be accepted.


Please thank these generous sponsors below.  Without their help, this project would not be possible.


Mayo Health Systems


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