Published: April 23, 2014
National Poetry Month is recognized each year throughout the month of April as a time to celebrate poets and their craft. Last year, with support from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) began an annual poetry contest for teens called Word Flow.
The teen poetry contest was created in response to popular demand as a companion contest to their annual adult poetry contest, Poetic Strokes. Area teens, age 14-18 responded to the invitation with more than 100 submissions. From 111 entries, a panel of judges chose 28 of their favorite poems to be included in a printed anthology with the adult poems.
Gazing at stars in the sky
Watching them sparkle
Some look like airplanes
Feeling the rough
Edges of the green grass
Looking at the moon
Glimmering in the water
Lingering through the air
Is the strong bitter scent
Of bug spray
Swatting the bugs
That swarm around
But still watching
The stars in the sky
--Rylie Bartell, Welch, Minnesota
9 April, 1912 – Southampton
Dear Captain Edward Smith,
This is a note to advise you of the dangers of your ship.
This is no threat, of course, for I wish you a grand trip.
But as I was inspecting your ship, I saw many a flaw.
There are too few lifeboats, yet that’s not all I saw.
The watertight compartments are too brittle,
And the rivets, well, they’re just too little.
And finally, the steel is rather too weak;
A simple collision could cause a death-streak.
So I hope this letter gets to you in time,
To save this ship which is, in truth, sublime.
Captain Edward Smith, I implore, people’s lives are at stake.
I hope you have it all cleared up, and ready to fix once you wake.
--Juan Rojas, St. Charles, Minnesota
You can check out a copy of the anthology from any SELCO library, request one through interlibrary loan, or while supplies last, contact SELCO Regional Librarian, Reagen Thalacker at email@example.com for a copy. Visit the SELCO website to learn more.