CCPL to sponsor student poets in contest

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By: Cathy Chen <[email protected]>

Senior Joshua Bird said he entered the annual Voice of Youth Advocates poetry contest through the Carmel Clay Public Library last year and ended up winning second place. He said he decided to submit a poem to the contest after receiving positive feedback from his mom, friends and teachers.

According to Young Adult librarian Diane Palguta, Voice of Youth Advocates limits the number of entries each sponsoring entity can submit, so the CCPL will sponsor three poems this year, just like it did last year. The library staff will judge the entries and vote on the three that they will submit to the official contest.

“It’s tough because we, of course, feel that we have a lot of talented poets, and we would like to submit more than three,” Palguta said. “But I would encourage as many students as are interested to enter because if you are a writer at all, it’s good to let it out. It’s good practice to enter a contest.”

Palguta said anyone from ages 12 to 18 is eligible to submit a poem. Those who want to enter the contest must bring their poems to the Young Adult department of the library by Dec. 22 at 5 p.m. There are flyers posted at the CCPL that provide more specific guidelines for the contest.

Bird said he highly recommends other students to enter this contest. “All the art forms—photography, painting, short stories, poetry—the focus on these art forms seems to be dying off,” he said, adding that he thinks this phenomenon is unfortunate. “We need to have inspiration.”

The national winners will receive a $20 cash prize, but Palguta said that the monetary reward is not the highlight of winning. She said, “The big deal is the prestige of winning the national contest.”