FAYETTEVILLE — In the recent “Yum’s the Word” poetry contest for homeschoolers in Arkansas, 13-year-old Emma Wright of Hot Springs won first place for students in grades 6-12, while that 10-year-old Katherine Wright, also of Hot Springs, earned an honorable mention for grades 1-5.
Emma Wright, who won with her poem “Friday Night Dinner,” will meet Governor Asa Hutchinson this fall in addition to her other certificates and cash prizes.
A press release noted Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s definition of poetry: writing “the best words in the best order”, as having brought success and recognition to many of the state’s young poets. New Arkansas Poet Laureate Suzanne Underwood Rhodes launched the competition as her first project for homeschooled students in grades 1-12.
“I am impressed by the poetic talent of these young people – their magic of creative words, their originality and their ability to transform everyday experiences into extraordinary experiences,” she said. “Applicants had the option to choose from three topics: ‘My Favorite Quiet Place in Arkansas,’ https://www.hotsr.com/news/2022/aug/30/hot-springs-home-schoolers-place -at-state-poetry/“Something special about my grandmother or my grandfather” and “My favorite family celebration”.
Other winners in the Grades 1-5 division include 9-year-old Elinor Johnson of Arkadelphia, who won first place for her poem “Sugar, Soda, and Summer”; Marcus Atkinson, 10, of Harrison, who won second place for his poem “The Stand”; and Augustus Johnson, 6, of Arkadelphia, won third place for his poem ‘How to Be a Grandfather’. In the 6-12 grades division, 16-year-old Ava Hickman of Harrison won second place for her poem “Memorial Stone”; Katherine Johnson, 12, of Arkadelphia, won third place for her poem ‘The Woods and White Sand Creek’; and Hannah Williams, 17, from Maumelle, won an honorable mention for her poem “Room of Resonance”.
To provide a creative opportunity for homeschoolers in Arkansas, Rhodes founded the Poetry Contest to help empower their struggle for access to resources available to traditional students and to raise awareness for the growing student population. home-schooled across the state.
“Rhodes’s passion for youth inspired her to focus on students when she was Poet Laureate. She began writing poetry as a little girl and credits it with helping her going through a difficult childhood. She knows from experience that poetry can help children process complex emotions and circumstances, and grow mentally and emotionally. As she says, “poetry educates, unifies, uplifts, and inspires,” says the press release.
The poetry contest was sponsored by Pearl’s Books of Fayetteville, Harness Roofing of Harrison, Childress Insurance Agency of Little Rock, Raising the Standard Marketing Agency of Rogers and Sassafras Vineyard of Springdale.