Contest open to young area poets

Competition runs throughout month

PIQUA — In celebration of National Poetry Month in April, the Piqua Public Library’s Youth Poetry Contest returns for a fourth year.

First, second, and third place awards will be conferred in four divisions: grades K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. First place winners in each group win $50; second place poets earn $25; and third place finishers receive $10. There is also a “Library Favorite” poem chosen from among all divisions by the library staff, which also receives a $50 award. Sponsorship for prizes comes from the Piqua Public Library Assistance & Development Fund.

Program Coordinator Robin Heintz reported that over 200 entries were received last year. “Two hundred and three poems were submitted by young people from Miami and Shelby counties in grades K-12 last year. These poets represented 12 different schools, as well as homeschoolers.” Heintz said. “We were deeply impressed with the quality of the entries, and grateful for the dedication of the many educators that submitted the work of their students.”

Poems are sent to more than a dozen judges across the country. All scoring is “blind,” which means that when the judge receives a poem, they don’t see a name or school listed. They only know the grade level of the poet. Among the volunteer judges are teachers, librarians, artists, professional educators, community leaders, and graduate students. Their role in the success of the program is critical.

Submission to the contest opened on March 1 and continues through March 31. Winners will be announced on April 19, and the contest concludes with a Poetry Night Awards Reception and readings on Monday, April 25, at 6 p.m. There is no entry fee. More information and submission details are available at the library, or online through the Piqua Public Library website:

Competition runs throughout month