March-April Posts

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Teen Poets Use their Words to Celebrate National Poetry Month

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.

Two selected poems from the anthology:


Night sky with stars

Gazing at stars in the sky

Watching them sparkle

Some look like airplanes

Feeling the rough

Edges of the green grass

That surrounds

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

The Unsinkable Note

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

How to find the Anthology:

Anthology book cover

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 for a copy. Visit the SELCO website to learn more.