Wake County poetry contest

Zach Nowlin, Staff Writer

Wake County Public Libraries is giving middle and high schoolers a chance to get recognized for their poetry starting March 1st-April 15th with the Teen Poetry contest.

There are four different categories to submit work in: Grade 6, grades 7 and 8 , grades 9 and 10, and grades 11 and 12. Teens can submit up to three poems for their age group. The only stipulation is that the poems must be original. Only one poem that is submitted will win and the winners will get a trophy and be honored at a reception on May 14th. The winning poems last year included topics such as race, adoption, nostalgia, and the changing of the season.

The teen poetry contest began in 2004 by Wake County Public Libraries, specifically the library in Cameron Village. The contest was inspired by poetry month, which is in the month of April, but the due date for the poems was pushed back to May so that it could line up with the poetry unit in Wake County schools.

The Teen Poetry Contest is a wonderful venue for teen poets to share their creative works,” said Nicole Lambert, who is in charge of the Wake County teen poetry contest. Lambert started working for the Wake County government in 2005 and has been running the contest since 2006.

Wake County’s goal is to inspire young people to see poetry as a form of expression and to encourage more students to write poems in their free time. There are no limits on what contestants can write about. This is to avoid stifling creativity in students so that they have freedom of the ideas or themes that they want to express.

The teen poetry contest has been going on for 12 years and Wake County does not plan to stop it any time soon. Students can enter in at anytime through April 15th.

“Poetry is a unique art form, encompassing the realistic and fantastic, and allows writers the opportunity to experiment and explore language in new ways,” said Lambert.