Winners of the High School Poetry Contest were celebrated at the Annual Palm Beach County High School Poetry Contest Award Ceremony, in the Crest Theatre, at Old School Square in Delray Beach, January 16th.

Open to Palm Beach County public and private high school students, five winners were selected from over 400 entries by Dr. Jeff Morgan, Lynn University, contest judge.

In addition to cash prizes, all winners received a pair of tickets to Sizzling Spoken Word!, the Festival’s Performance Poetry Event on Saturday night featuring Mayhem Poets: Mason Granger & Scott Nason, who also visited Palm Beach County High Schools offering workshops and performances during festival week. It is estimated that these programs reached over 2,000 students. Winners will also receive subscriptions to Poets & Writers Magazine.

Select this link to read the the winning poems.

1st Prize ($200):
Juliana Romero, , Wellington High, Grade 11, for “A Moment”

2nd Prize ($100):
Haleigh McGirt, Jupiter High School, Grade 12, for “To the Boy in my Fourth Period Debate Class Who, Unprompted, Took it Upon Himself to Proclaim ‘Rape Culture Doesn’t Exist’.

3rd Prize ($100):
Aleah Searfoss, Wellington High School, , Grade 11, for “The Great Egret”

4th Prize ($100):
Owen Gable, Spanish river High School, Grade 11, for “Songbird”

5th Prize ($100):
Samantha Marshall, Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Grade 12, for “Elegy for Evangeline”

“This year the Palm Beach Poetry Festival High School Poetry Contest had a banner year,” says Dr. Allen. “Our judge, Lynn University’s Dr. Jeff Morgan had to narrow down to give talented finalists from a highly competitive pool of 448 submissions – 100 more than we received last year.”

“The Poetry Festival has been honored to work with high school teachers throughout Palm Beach County for the past 13 years. We have visited hundreds of classrooms to discuss the craft of poetry and encourage students to write original poems, and every year we are amazed by the quality of their submitted work. In fact, many of our past winners have gone to college to become teachers themselves, and we are always hopeful that the Festival is nurturing a future Poet Laureate of the United States,” she adds.