Arts and Entertainment

Young poets leave their mark on professionals

Part of the evening’s activities at the Wake Up to Poetry! Contest was for contestants to share their work. - Photo by Meagan Rhoades
Part of the evening’s activities at the Wake Up to Poetry! Contest was for contestants to share their work.
— image credit: Photo by Meagan Rhoades

To celebrate National Poetry Month, Friends of the Buckley Pierce County Library recently hosted its fifth annual Wake Up to Poetry! Contest.

Family, friends and the community gathered May 5 at Buckley’s Elk Ridge Elementary School library for the reading of the winning poems and presentation of a new poetry book. Winners were invited to participate in the open poetry reading, which takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. the second Friday of every month at the Arts Alive! Gallery, 1429 Cole St., Enumclaw.

The contest was open to all fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students living within the White River School District. Seventy-seven poems were entered.

The winners were:

Sixth grade – CarrieAnne Steele, home school student, first place; Shayna Pendergast, Glacier Middle School, second place; and Faith Plaster, White River Middle School, third place.

Fifth grade – Darian Gore, Elk Ridge Elementary School, first place; Lauren Kammerzell, Elk Ridge, second place; and Felicia Dae Halstensen-Umipig, Foothills Elementary School, third place.

Fourth grade – Madeline Carboy, Elk Ridge, first place; Hailey Holm, Mountain Meadow Elementary School, second place; and Indy Ray, Mountain Meadow, third place.

Plateau Area Writers Association (PAWA) members judged the Friends of the Buckley Library poetry contest. Judy Prenovost chaired the PAWA committee and Suzanne Popp represented the judges at the awards ceremony. Bruce Bartling, Wendy Bell, Debbie Fank and Lois Walker evaluated the poetry submitted.

“To be fair, I like to see, whatever style is chosen, there is good organization and coherence,” said Bell, summing up the experience for each of the judges. “Thanks for letting me participate in the judging.”

“It is gratifying to see young students take an active interest in poetry,” Bartling added. “Many of (these contestants) will be tomorrow’s accomplished poets.”

Poems were evaluated on a three-point-per-category system. The categories chosen by the Friends of the Library included originality of ideas, creative images, correct spelling and grammar. A total of 12 points were possible for each poem from each judge. Three judges independently evaluated each poem written by the same grade level students. When the evaluations were finished, Robin Clausen, Buckley library managing librarian, was invited to watch as the points were totaled to arrive at the first, second and third place winners for each grade.

“I am pleased with the positive comments some of the judges wrote on the poems,” Clausen said.

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