Seagull*

January 7, 2022


2021 Merit Award
by Margaux Barber, 2nd grade

I walk out of the portable
pulling the lunch cart down the noisy ramp
I see a seagull, black-eyed, its feathers beautiful.
I walk into the school
pulling the lunch cart behind me.
I walk out to the schoolyard.
I see the seagull again, the same one black-eyed.
I wonder if I will see it again at recess.
I do not.

*Copyright © 2021 by Margaux Barber. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

Poet’s bio:
“I like to read.”

Where I’m From*

January 3, 2022


2021 Merit Award
by Rylie Anderson, 6th grade

I am from the coral dahlias in full summer bloom
from the Norwex rags and messy room
I am from the jam-packed garden,
kale, radish, lettuce, tomato
I am from the half-read book
That two months later, I pick back up
the rocky bottoms, that once belonged to the chinook
I’m from the sticky rolls and big smiles
I am from many years of school,
That I too, want to pursue
I am from Gramps who fought in the war
And Ma’ma who can still play on the floor

I’m from the mad not bad and “won’t you stay little?”
I am from the with Him I shall fear no evil.
I’m from the four-hour drive through winter wonderland.
The sun kisses on our cheeks
I’m from Glendale and 500sq feet
I’m from the Jeep that was stuck in the mud
and the Cabin complete in a week
I am from wooden slippers and Stroopwafel
and six in a golfcart, lucky we didn’t topple
From the finally, someday, never, forever. And the now.
All the moments, all the people,
they shape me and make me into who I am.

*Copyright © 2021 by Rylie Anderson. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

placards!

December 30, 2021

Due to unanticipated delays, we’ve been remiss in posting the illustrated placards for the 2021 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest winning poems. That’s about to be corrected. Over the coming weeks, each of the 25 winning poems will appear in this space and also be linked to the Winners page.

The Contest is deeply grateful to this year’s illustrious judges, Robert Lashley and Elizabeth Vignali, and also extends thanks to the four artists who have added their vision to the poets’ words: Angela Boyle, Megan Carroll, Christian Anne Smith, and Kimberly Wulfestieg.

Meet the artists 2021

June 4, 2021

Each year, the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest engages a small cadre of artists to interpret and illustrate the winning poems. The resulting placards are displayed on buses, in local libraries, here on The Poetry Department, and in other locations around Whatcom County, Washington. The contest is fortunate to have four devoted artists committed to the project year after year and we reintroduce them here.

ANGELA BOYLE
As a cartoonist and natural science illustrator, I like to blend my passions together into both nonfiction and science fiction comics. My focus is the natural world: the plants and animals we can see and interact with, or at least potentially interact with. You can get my comics through my StoreEnvy shop and my nature illustrations on mugs and pillows through Society 6. I am currently working on a graphic novel biography of Maria Sibylla Merian and the late 1600s. You can follow my research and read pages early on Patreon. I recently published a young adult sci-fi, Threadbare Memories, and have four volumes of the natural science comic anthology that I run, Awesome ‘Possum. Coming April 2022 from First Second (already available for preorder), I wrote the comic Maker Comics: Live Sustainbly, drawn by Les McClaine. My general social media (Twitter and Instagram) is angelabcomics, and my personal website is angelabcomics.com, which has links to everything, including many more comics. I am also a freelance editor, illustrator, and designer: publication.flyingdodostudio.com. Photo Copyright Abe Olson.

MEGAN CARROLL
I once told my husband that making art was not an option it was a need. I have to make art, I have to use my hands. I believe in craftsmanship, I research every single one of my ideas, draw several sketches, collect images, words and doodles. I throw out several ideas and save what I think are the very best ones. As an artist I collaborate with those around me, seeking feedback and critique. My illustrations have a minimalist style that leans heavily on mark making. I love strong lines that create a visual impact using simple repetitive shapes. I would describe myself as a mixed media artist as my current works are digital, surface and pattern design, illustration, fabric and clay. I received my BFA from Emily Carr University in Vancouver, BC, and I have made my home in Bellingham for the last eight years. You can buy my prints, including the ones inspired by the poems in this contest, on Society 6 and find out more on meganhcarroll.com and on Instagram @meganhcarroll_arts.

CHRISTIAN ANNE SMITH
I like to tell stories with art. I love garish and fantastical characters. I enjoy human beings and my art explores stories of human emotion as well as my passion for costumes, colors, textures and intriguing environments. Growing up on the coast of Maine, I was surrounded by stories and images of the region’s folklore. Selkies, mermaids, ghosts and pirates were all believably real entities to me. My childhood fascination with monsters and supernatural beings continues and influences the way I choose to portray people. I also have a need to express with my art. I become inspired, and have worked hard to train myself to go into a sort of trance that allows what’s inside to come out. It’s only later that I can look with any objectivity on something that I’ve created and perhaps get a glimpse of what I was feeling or thinking. It is akin to the way one might analyze a dream. I may start a painting or puppet with a certain image in mind, but I allow the original image to change or even get completely painted over whenever I start to see new things. I am often quite confused about how I am feeling until after I paint, draw, or build things and the truth comes to the surface. This is the way I best communicate with myself. In this way I suppose nearly all my paintings are also portraits of my life. Find out more on christianannesmith.com.

KIMBERLY WULFESTIEG
Kimberly Wulfestieg is a paper cutting, rainbow making, poetry loving mother and teacher from Northern California. She is inspired by the beautiful nature and open hearts that surround her. She is a self-taught artist who has always been enamored with the color and texture of paper and collage. She employs a wide array of colored papers, scissors, scalpels, knives, and glue, and uses them in conjunction with details and patience. She runs the Natural Learning Center in Bellingham and loves to share her joy of art and words with the children she works with. Also known as K. Wulfe, more of her work can be seen on Facebook at K. Wulfe and followed on Instagram @kimwulfy.

Volcanoes of Anger*

February 7, 2021


2020 Merit Award
By Stephen Jacob Huxford, Grade 7

I
Am
Alone
With no one to save me
Walking through the depths of my own soul.
Trudging through swamps of misdoubts,
And hiking the volcanoes of my own anger.
Facing tigers and lions of fear
And seeing my happiness in the sun.
But the sun is so far away and is just a dot.
The dot of happiness in everyone’s soul.
Shrouded by darkness, anger and fear,
All this leads to death.
The death of you and me,
The death of others, and the death of the earth.

*Copyright 2020 by Stephen Jacob Huxford. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

Hope in Late Summer*

October 27, 2019


2019 Walk Award
By Stephany Vogel

Hope curled up in my hand
and slept the night away,
yet how cold and trembling
we found the thin light of day.

How steady I labored
to kindle the ashy white coals
until they bled fire,
white hot and full of holes.

I was made warm,
wrapped in a blanket of my own.
A comfort for my soul
until I could stand upright —
red, yellow, green
as summer apples in a bowl.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Stephany Vogel. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

. . . . .
Stephany Vogel is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, and a life long visual artist and community arts educator. The poem ‘Hope in Late Summer’ refers to a time of dire illness and the first sense of real recovery, in the season of late summer. This is her first published poem.

I bought a pair of earrings*

September 1, 2019


2019 Merit Award
By Quinn Moore, Grade 4

I bought a pair of earrings
They were sparkly and blue
I loved them and adored them
They were shiny and new

Then you gave me a small rock
Which was very dirty too
But I loved it even more so
Because it came from you

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Quinn Moore. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

2011*

August 25, 2019


2019 Walk Award
By Bella Flynn-Mendoza, Grade 12

Boxes of hunger sit in our cabinets
untouched
no one cooks here anymore
my stomach cries for love

Tiredness overflows the kitchen sink
it was my turn to wash the dishes
but no one paid the water bill

Across the street a happy
childhood plays on the swing
laughing with her mother

In our house laughter is a lore
our mother is the putrid perfume
of Marlboro
and happiness won’t be birthed

until tomorrow

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Bella Flynn-Mendoza. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

. . . . .
Bella Mendoza is a student that is new to poetry. She has never been published and this is her first contest. She will be graduating from Squalicum High School this year and plans to attend Seattle University in the fall. She lives in Bellingham with her grandparents, uncles and cousin.

“2011” was written about a tough time in Bella’s life that she has been thankful to work through. She hopes that writing about her experience will bring hope to others in similar situations.

Statement of purpose*

August 4, 2019


2019 Merit Award
By Carlos Martinez

Because my skin becomes a part of the sky
when the sun begins to go down and is gone

halfway beneath the horizon, and the moon
when it appears becomes my one eye looking,

I allow myself to shiver when wind blows,
that shivering a vibration that makes no sound

and allows me to vanish into darkening hues.
Because I disappear, I am not to be feared

though I remain in the darkness, assuming
the guise of a shroud or a sheet. I prefer

to say that I become bed linen, a cover, a blanket,
a quilt covered by a duvet, heavy but not,

washed both by the coming of day and its going,
made worn by their washing, that leaves an aroma

that comforts and allows sleep to come, for sleep
to become deep and for something like movies

to rise from anyone’s darkness within.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Carlos Martinez. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

Duet in Five Haiku*

June 23, 2019


2019 Merit Award
By Anishka Duggal, Grade 11

At the piano
My hand crosses over yours
I don’t play the notes

Keys: our witnesses
Silent black on white eyelids
Closing at first light

Two bodies counting
Time as it moves forward now
Breaking on each beat

Our metronome wants
More than our rippling skin
As it waits sidelined

Move over now the
Practicing bench is too warm
Not meant for us both

. . . . .
*Copyright 2019 by Anishka Duggal. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

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