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Palm Beach Poetry Festival Announces Winners Of High School Poetry Contest

Palm Beach Poetry Festival Announces Winners Of High School Poetry Contest

Susan R. Williamson, Director of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and Blaise Allen, Ph.D., the Festival's Director of Community Outreach, today announced the winners of the annual Palm Beach County High School Poetry Contest. The 16th annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival runs January 20-25 at Old School Square in Delray Beach.

In addition to 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 Festival's official website (www.palmbeachpoetryfestival.org).

The $200 first place prize went to Grace Gosinanont, from Royal Palm Beach Gardens, a 16-year-old junior at A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach. She won for her poem Rotten. Her sponsoring teacher is Brittany Rigdon.

The next four $100 winners are in order of their finish:

+ Primrose Tanachaiwiwat, a 15-year-old sophomore at Boca Raton Community High School, for her poem Etymology. Her sponsoring teacher is Andrea Abbe.

+ Rachel Dippolito, from 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, from West Palm Beach, a sophomore at Dreyfoos School of the Arts, for her poem In Argentina. Her sponsoring teacher is Britany Rigdon.

+ Mariel Silpe, from Palm Beach, a 16-year-old junior at Dreyfoos School of the Arts, for her poem Love in Retrograde. Her sponsoring teacher is Brittany Rigdon.

In 2020, for the first time, three additional 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, a 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," says Dr. Allen. "We are grateful to our contest judge, Dr. Jeff Morgan from 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 throughout Palm Beach County for a decade and a half. We have visited hundreds of classrooms to discuss the craft of poetry and encourage students to write original poems. Every year we are impressed by the quality of their work. Many of our past winners have gone to college to become teachers themselves, and we are always hopeful that the students will continue to discover the delights that poetry offers us," she adds. "As celebrated poet Carolyn Forche has pointed out, you find in poetry, something that is not found anywhere else."

The winning high school poets read their poems at the Festival's Award Ceremony on Monday, January 20 where they had the opportunity to meet and have their pictures taken with some of America's most distinguished and award-winning poets.


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