Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Celebrating the Muse - The 13th Annual CPL Poetry Awards

Thursday, May 19, was a special evening for the young writers of Cambridge. For some, the evening began in the underground parking garage.  That's where I met 4th grader Sofia Riskin, one of 61 students who had signed up to read their poems that evening.  While her parents waited their turn at the pay station, Sofia told me about her poem "Holes," inspired by an image from the movie.
Ben Donaldson prepares to read his
poem The Breath of Life.

We moved into the library and rode the elevator down to L2.  The excitement built as young poets and their parents registered and then moved into the auditorium to await their turns to read.  At the registration table 5th grader Ben Donaldson told me that he writes a lot of poetry.  The ideas for his pieces just pop into his head.

There were poems about Legos; poems about pets; poems about poetry itself.  In addition to the awards provided by the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library, winners who had chosen to write about trees received additional recognition from the Cambridge Tree Project.  As sometimes happens, this year's group of winners contained a pair of siblings, Olivia and Elias Shirley. 

In her poem "Snakes" 2nd grader Anaomi Rigand used the technique of alliteration to recreate the sound of a snake moving through the grass.  Her poem begins, "Slithering snakes ...slurp rats!"  Dennis Anderson III, a second grader, created a wonderful image of a penguin "like a rocket flying out of the water" in his poem Emperoro Penguin.
Mina Hasan, Grade Three
Here is an excerpt from her poem I Want...
I want in this spring
seeds of peace to grow up
I want in this summer
Angels of love to show up.
After an inspirational program of shared poetry, the winners and their supporters moved into the hall space to enjoy refreshments and the continued glow of pride in their successes.  If you know of a young writer who missed out on this year's contest, don't let it happen again next year.  Look for the announcement of the 2012 contest on the library's home page or right here in this blog.

There are always great things happening at the library! For more information on how you can get involved with the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library click here.

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