Hear the winners of WPSU's Student Poetry Writing Contest read their poems
April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate, WPSU held its first ever Student Poetry Writing Contest.
Students in kindergarten through 12th grade were encouraged to write poems and send them into the station. Poems were reviewed by over 30 community volunteers and the four winning poems were selected by Poetry Moment host, Todd Davis, who served as the contest judge. Davis is a professor of English and Environmental Studies at Penn State Altoona.
As a poet himself, Davis' deepest hope for poetry is that poems and poem-making will become a part of our daily lives, helping us to notice more about the places we live, introducing us to other places and peoples, and joining us one to another through expression.
Each student poet has read and recorded their own poem.
The winner for the kindergarten to 2nd grade category is Allison Caron of State College who is in kindergarten. In her poem, “Sunshine,” Allison makes use of repetition and contrast as she tells us about all the things the sun and the moon touch.
The sunshine lights up the flowers.
The sunshine wakes up the birds.
The sunshine blooms the trees.
The sunshine becomes a moon.
The moon shines on the house
The moon shines on the cars.
The moon shine becomes a sun.
The sunshine lights up our new day.
The winner for the 3rd to 5th grade is Poppy Goble, a 4th grader from State College. Poppy’s poem, “The Meadowlark,” is written in the tradition of an ode, praising that bird and what its song helps us to notice.
High on the mountain, a meadowlark,
enthralled by the beauty, bursts forth and sings.
All around the mountain his glorious voice rings.
But now the sun is obliterated by clouds and the thunder
crashes in a cacophony of noise and the rain comes down
and drenches the poor meadowlark and he takes refuge
under a tree.
The winner for the 6th to 8th grade is 6th grader Eveline Overdurf of Lemont. In her poem, “A New Possibility,” Eveline asks us to consider what every writer considers as they begin a new poem: what might the blank page hold and what stories might unravel as our words fill the canvas.
"A New Possibility"
First there was nothing
A blank page
Waiting to be a story
A story of dragons, of princesses, and lost princes
Or maybe it’s a story of change, of patience
It could be a pair of wings
Flying you somewhere new
Somewhere no one else has been
It could give hope, or give comfort
It could change you, or strengthen you
It could tell truth, make people see the past
All the lies
It could help save lives
Fix things that are broken
Mend the torn
Cure the sick
All on a single page of blank paper a better world could be formed
The winner for the 9th to 12th grade is Aurea Slimak, a 10th grader from DuBois. Longing and mystery are at the root of Aurea’s poem, “Waiting.”
Among the foggy mist of morning
Along the beach, a woman stands
Darkened eyes to match her hair
Scans the sand for someone
Who? She doesn’t know
Sits on cold sand
Those were the winning poems for the WPSU Student Poetry Writing Contest read by the student poets themselves. You can see the top three entries in each category on the poetry contest website.
All of the student writers show great promise and remind us of the power of language and art to represent how we see the world.
Read the Penn State News story about the contest and winners here.