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Logan-Hocking Library Announces Poetry Contest Winners

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April was National Poetry Month, and in order to celebrate, Logan-Hocking Pubic Library Children’s Librarian Katy Smith invited the youth of the county to participate in a poetry contest.

“I love poetry, and so I just made it a public thing, and some of the teachers found out about it and required some of the kids to do it in school too,” said Smith, who added that she received somewhere between 100 and 150 entries.

The response that Smith received from students and youth was stunning, and she received entries from several different schools. Because Smith works primarily with children, she did limit the grades by age, with kindergarten through second grade in one category and third grade through sixth grade in another.

Smith judged the poems herself, and stated that she was surprised by many of the poems from the older students, saying she was really moved by how many of them pulled from their personal experiences and they shared some truly powerful emotions.

Originally, Smith had some criteria for the contest, but she eventually decided to throw it out because she didn’t want to limit the children’s creativity. The result was stacks upon stacks of poetry of all different genres and structures. Some of the students scribbled a few lines on lined paper, others wrote free verse poems, some were very structured, and she even received an acrostic poem where the student used the letters of his name to write his entry. Some decorated their entries with drawings, some wrote in color pencil or crayon to inspire more emotion.

Subjects ranged from emotional subjects like true love and heartache, to problems that the students encounter everyday like testing, to happy or funny subjects like springtime and dinner.

After careful consideration, Smith chose the winners based on which poems stood out to her.

The winner of the kindergarten through second grade category is Sadie Vaughn. Vaughn, who is a second grade student at Hocking Hills Elementary, submitted a poem called “Fun at the Library”, which is a lighthearted piece describing the author’s adventures at the library.

“I just thought it was so cute how she talked about all the different things in the library,” laughed Smith.

Logan-Hocking Middle School sixth grader Andrea Diamond was the winner for the third through sixth grade category. Diamond submitted a deeply moving piece about loneliness the struggles that she, like many youth her age, faces when dealing with her peers.

“I just thought was really powerful, it obviously came from personal experience and I thought it was deep and I just loved it,” said Smith.

Smith was excited about the response and overall success of the poetry contest, and is looking forward to conducting another contest next year to honor National Poetry Month.

Here are the winning poems from each category:

Fun at the Library by Sadie Vaughn

At the library I have fun

I never want to be done

I check out a book

About how to cook

A scientist I see

On my way to see the bees

Butterflies are awesome

But they don’t like opossums

The library is full of things to see

So, come read with me!

Crowded Hallways by Andrea Diamond

Crowded hallways are the loneliest places

So many people, so many faces

Time and time, over again,

Stuck in this place without a friend.

Sometimes I feel like I’m about to break,

But it’s about that time, I tell myself to get over it

I keep telling myself, time after time

They can’t judge you ‘til they view from your eyes.