call for youth poets

January 27, 2018

The Whatcom County Library System invites submissions from teens in grades 6-12 for inclusion in A Forest of Words 2018, a teen poetry anthology, which will be distributed to area schools and libraries.

The entry deadline is Thursday, March 1, 2018. See the guidelines and submission form at WCLS.

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Sudden Thoughts*

November 5, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Aysha Burney, 11th Grade

She was like a Sour Patch Kid
Sour without sleep, then sweet
So innocent, and loving
Shaped like a plumb who
Sat in the chair from
Sunday to Monday
Sadness appeared when
She left my life
Soaring in the sad grey sky
Say goodbye to the love of my life
                         Rest in peace, Grandma

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Aysha Burney. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

Dear Rain*

October 22, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Sterling C.H. Bemment, 3rd Grade

Dear Rain,
You probably
don’t
remember me
The vast
Ocean
of sand
that is scorching hot
I would trade
all the animals
and all the plants
just for you
to visit me
And quench my thirst
And stop me longing for you
From, the Desert

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Sterling C.H. Bemment. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

Let them be Cars*

October 15, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Mason Mills, 9th Grade

Let them be cars,
Always fueled, fixed, loved,
But harnessed to the road.

I’d rather be submarine,
Cruising underwater like a shark,
Exploring the deepest depths of the ocean.

To have shattered theories,
To dive and search,
To be carried among the waves,
Currents moving me all around the world.

I’d rather be unseen,
Unknown by all,
Than to be a shiny new car,
Made in a factory,
Praised by all,
And driven by greedy hands.

If I could be alone, strong and free,
I’d rather be a submarine.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Mason Mills. Broadside illustrated by Mat Hudson.

Princess and Maiden*

October 1, 2017


2017 Merit Award
By Ruby Thomas, 4th Grade

Even princess and maiden come together like the wind,
When old Mrs. Locket calls,
“Good morning! Good morning to all.
Well wishes to all of yo!”
Then dog and cat
Hawk and mouse,
Good and bad,
Come together like all is well, like all is well,
While princess and maiden stand hand in hand,
Looking out the window.

. . . . .
Ruby Thomas is in 5th grade at Happy Valley Elementary. She loves animals and has three cats and one dog. This is her first published poem, and she thought it up while looking out the window.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Ruby Thomas. Broadside illustrated by Christian Smith.

Rabbits with Wings*

September 17, 2017


2017 Walk Award
By Amelia O’Connell, 8th Grade

Rabbits with wings flying up through the sky,
Catching the carrots that fall from the trees,
Deep in the forest live rabbits that fly.

Sometimes the rabbits will eat a fruit pie,
Carrots get boring after a while,
Rabbits with wings flying up through the sky.

When you hike through the forest a rabbit hops by,
Hiding its wings as it hops past your feet,
Deep in the forest live rabbits that fly.

Regular rabbits eventually die,
Magical rabbits live long happy lives,
Rabbits with wings flying up through the sky.

You may think, when that little rabbit hops by,
That it lives in burrows deep under the ground, but
Deep in the forest live rabbits that fly.

Someday, if you’re on a hike, you should try
Looking for rabbit nests up in the trees,
Rabbits with wings flying up in the sky,
Deep in the forest live rabbits that fly.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2017 by Amelia O’Connell. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

We posted about this contest back in April, but that was sooooo long ago, and it seems sooooo relevant to the current state of our lives that we’re reposting the information here. (Also, some of the information has changed.)

K-12 students in Whatcom County, Washington, are encouraged to submit poems or songs to the Peaceful Poetry Youth Contest. Launched as a National Poetry Month action in partnership with Village Books, the contest is accepting submissions through Monday, September 25, 2017.

The five winning poets will receive gift cards, be videotaped by BTV-10, and be invited to the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center’s annual Peace Builder Awards and given the opportunity to read their poem aloud. Winning poems will be showcased throughout Whatcom County during the year in various locations, including libraries, schools, and small businesses. The work of winning teen poets will also be submitted to the Forest of Words annual library publication.

To download the submission form, submit poems, and see the names and some video recordings of previous winners, visit the Peaceful Poetry Youth Contest page on the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center site and at Village Books.

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