Susan R. Williamson, director of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and Blaise Allen, Ph.D., director of community outreach for the Festival, today announced the winners of the annual Palm Beach County High School Poetry Contest. . The 16th Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival takes place January 20-25 at Old School Square in Delray Beach.
In addition to the cash prizes, each of the five winning poets will also receive a one-year subscription to Poets and Writers Literary Journal, and their poems have been published online on the official Festival website (www.palmbeachpoetryfestival.org).
The $200 top prize went to Grace Gosinanont of Royal Palm Beach Gardens, a 16-year-old junior at the AW Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach. She won for her poem Rotten. Her sponsor teacher is Brittany Rigdon.
The next four $100 winners are ranked in order of arrival:
+ Primrose Tanachaiwiwat, a 15-year-old sophomore at Boca Raton Community High School, for her poem Etymology. Her sponsor teacher is Andrea Abbe.
+ Rachel Dippolito, of Lake Worth, a 16-year-old junior at Dreyfoos School of the Arts, for her poem Daughter. The sponsoring teacher is Brittany Rigdon.
+ Ava Murray, of West Palm Beach, sophomore at Dreyfoos School of the Arts, for her poem In Argentina. Her sponsor teacher is Britany Rigdon.
+ Mariel Silpe, of Palm Beach, a 16-year-old junior at Dreyfoos School of the Arts, for her poem Love in Retrograde. Her sponsor teacher is Brittany Rigdon.
In 2020, for the first time, three more student poets received honorable mention: Alexa Alvarez, a 17-year-old junior at Wellington Community High School, for her poem Luciana; Margaret Hunt, a 15-year-old sophomore at Wellington High, for The Afro in My Memory Mirror; and Julie Claude PettitFrere, senior at Glades Central High School in Belle Glades, for Boys Will Be Boys.
“This year, the Palm Beach Poetry Festival High School Poetry Contest received more than 230 submissions,” Dr. Allen said. “We are grateful to our contest judge, Dr. Jeff Morgan of Lynn University in Boca Raton, for choosing the winning poems and three honorable mentions.”
“The Poetry Festival has been honored to work with high school teachers across Palm Beach County for a decade and a half. We have visited hundreds of classrooms to discuss the art of poetry and encourage students to write original poems. Each year, we are impressed by the quality of their work. Many of our past winners have gone on to college to become teachers themselves, and we are always hopeful that students will continue to discover the delights that offers us poetry,” she adds. “As famous poet Carolyn Forche has pointed out, there is something in poetry that you can’t find anywhere else.”
The winning high school poets read their poems at the festival’s awards ceremony on Monday, January 20, where they had the opportunity to meet and have their photo taken with some of America’s most distinguished and award-winning poets. .