Poetry contest back for third year

PIQUA — In conjunction with National Poetry Month in April, the Piqua Public Library’s Youth Poetry Contest returns for a third year. Last year, this contest drew 254 entries from 20 schools and homeschoolers throughout Miami and Shelby counties.

Program Coordinator Robin Heintz reports that between the first and second year of the contest the number of entries tripled. “These poets represented 20 different schools, as well as homeschoolers.” she 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.

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.

Submission to the contest opens 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 on Monday, April 26, at 6 p.m. There is no entry fee.

More information and submission details are available online at the Piqua Public Library website: www1.youseemore.com/piqua.