PIQUA — Held in conjunction with National Poetry Month in April, the Piqua Public Library reports that its 2017 Youth Poetry Contest was a resounding success.
Contest Coordinator Robin Heintz said that the number of entries more than doubled from last year’s totals. “The contest continues to grow well beyond our expectations: four hundred and eighty poems were entered by young people in four K-12 grade divisions this year. These poets represent 21 different schools and homeschoolers in both counties.
“We were deeply impressed, not only with the quantity of entries, but with their quality as well. Miami and Shelby counties can be very proud of the creativity of their students. There were well thought-out works submitted – poetry that made me laugh and that made me cry. The youth of this area are amazing.”
The contest concluded with a Poetry Night Awards Reception in the Piqua Public Library lobby on Tuesday, April 25. Award winners were given the opportunity to read their works aloud, and cash awards and certificates were given out to participants.
“We send the poems out to 16 judges across the country.” Piqua Library Director James Oda explained. “The judging was extremely difficult this year; I did not envy them.”
First, second, and third place awards are conferred in four grade divisions. First place earns $50, second earns $25, and third earns $10. Money for the awards is donated by the Piqua Public Library Assistance & Development fund.
The library also selects a “Library Staff Favorite” award, with that poet also earning a $50 prize. The 2017 winner of this award is Adelynn Rich, a fourth grader from Piqua Catholic School.