Winning Wordsmiths from the 43rd annual Polk County Poetry Contest

Winning Wordsmiths from the 43rd annual Polk County Poetry Contest

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Poetry 1st Place Winners standing on stage wearing medals

You might already know it,
That our students are great poets.
But the Polk County Poetry Contest,
Is where they really get to show it.

Ok, so we’re not exactly Robert Frost. Thankfully, our students have quite a way with words.

The 43rd annual Polk County Poetry Contest was held last week at Florida Southern College. Sponsored by PCPS’ literacy department, the event is open to all Polk County students in grades 6-12.

This year, Harrison School for the Arts sophomore Caprielle Grisham (pictured below) was voted best overall for her poem, “find the exits.” She received the contest’s top honor — the Robert J. Fisher Award for Excellence in Poetry — and two phrases from her poem were used for the title of our 2019 anthology, Safe Corners and Hiding Spots.

Harrison School for the Arts sophomore Caprielle Grisham with her teacher, Clifford Parody

Harrison School for the Arts sophomore Caprielle Grisham with her teacher, Clifford Parody

Nearly 200 students’ poems were selected and published in this year’s anthology, which was distributed to students and their teachers during the contest.

Congratulations to the following first-place winners (pictured below, from left):

6th grade: Kai Richardi, Lawton Chiles Middle Academy
7th grade: Kim Pham, St. Joseph Academy
8th grade: Oixel Romero, St. Joseph Academy
9th grade: Jazlyn Gregory, Tenoroc High
10th grade: Caiden Brooks, Polk Pre-Collegiate Academy
11th grade: Leila Ouhri, Bartow IB
12th grade: Alejandra Fernandez Mora (not pictured), George Jenkins High

Winners from the 2019 Polk County Poetry Contest 

The cover of this year's poetry anthology

The cover of this year’s poetry anthology