People's Literary Festival

The Robb Jackson Award

People’s Literary Festival celebrates and supports writers–both new and established–by bridging literary borders and genres. We bring writers and readers into dialogue, honor self-expression, and inspire creativity in our readings and workshops.

We are inviting creative writing teachers and/or English teachers from area high schools to nominate poems by their students. High school students may also self-nominate. All entries need parent/guardian permission to be eligible.


  1. Poems should be typed.

  2. Poems should be no longer than two pages.

  3. Poems can be any length or style, while staying within the two-page limit.

  4. Each submission should include a completed Entry Form.

  5. The student’s poem should be a separate document. (Word Doc or PDF)

  6. The student’s name should not be on the actual poem itself.

  7. Entries should be received by Friday, February 9, 2024.

  8. Complete submission packet (the parent-signed submission form AND the poem should be uploaded here

Judging and Prizes

Poems will be read by a panel of judges. Student work will be “read blind,” meaning the judges will not know the names or home schools of the student poets.  Judges will select finalists, first, second, and third place winners. 

All finalists will be invited to participate in a poetry reading and awards ceremony on the evening of Thursday, February 22nd. 

All finalists will receive an electronic gift card. First, second and third place winners will also receive copies of select poetry books.   

Dr. Robb Jackson

Robb Jackson, M.F.A., Ph.D., CAPF, CJF was Regents Professor and Professor of English at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, where he was a rhetoric-composition specialist.

Robb’s poetry originated from his journal writing practice and was informed by close observation of his adopted home, Corpus Christi, Texas. While still in Ohio, Robb had a chapbook called Arthur Zen Comes to America (1981) and a pamphlet Junctures (1983) published.

His first full book of poetry, Living on the Hurricane Coast (2003), contains poems that stem from his transition from his northern roots of Huron, Ohio to a new life along the Gulf Coast of south Texas. From Halsdon Mill Cottage (2005) a poem cycle written about and around the Halsdon Mill Cottage in England that was part of his in-laws, the Furse family. Child Support (2010) was written over a 20-year period during and after his separation and divorce from his four children’s mother. Crane Creek, Two Voices (2011) is a collection of facing poems by Robb and his wife of 26 years, Vanessa Furse Jackson. This posthumous collection, Open Heart (2013) was collection of Robb’s poetry that had been published in the Journal of Poetry Therapy. Robb Jackson died of a heart attack in his last semester before retirement in January 2013.

Vanessa Furse Jackson

Vanessa Furse Jackson comes from a family with deep roots in Devonshire. However, married to Robb Jackson, an Ohio native, she lived in the United States for almost thirty years, the majority of them spent teaching literature and writing at Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi.  She has numerous published works, including a book about her great-grandfather, The Poetry of Henry Newbolt: Patriotism Is Not Enough, two collections of short stories, What I Cannot Say to You and Small Displacements, a co-authored book of poems with her husband Robb, entitled Crane Creek, Two Voices, and two novels, The Revolving Year, and The Anthropologist’s Daughter. Vanessa’s work can be found at Grief Road and other titles can be purchased on

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