Winners of an area-wide high school poetry contest are pictured, from left: Ananda Coleman, Liberal, first place; Bill McGlothing, SCCC/ATS English instructor; Khannah K Wetmore, Dodge City, second place; Robbi Lewis, Liberal, third place; Janice Northerns, SCCC/ATS English instructor; and Alexandria Bowen, Liberal, honorable mention. The winners read their poems at the April 14 Poetry Coffee House at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School. Courtesy photo
• Special to the Leader & Times
Winners of an area-wide high school poetry contest read their poems for a crowd of around 80 people Thursday evening at the Poetry Coffee House, hosted by Seward County Community College/Area Technical School.
First place went to Ananda Coleman, age 16, and a Liberal High School sophomore, for her poem “Cascade.” She was awarded a $100 SCCC/ATS scholarship, a $25 Spencer Browne’s gift card, $25 cash, “The Poet” Magnetic Poetry set, a USB Tangle hub and other prizes.
Second prize went to Khannah K. Wetmore, age 14 and a Dodge City High School freshman, for “Mellophone Boy.” Wetmore received a $100 SCCC/ATS scholarship, a $10 Spencer Browne’s gift card, $15 cash, “The Poet” Magnetic Poetry set, a USB Tangle hub, and other prizes.
Winning third for her poem “Ignorance,” was Robbi Lewis, 15, and a freshman at LHS. She won a $5 Spencer Browne’s gift card, $15 cash, “The Poet” Magnetic Poetry set, a writer’s journal, a USB Tangle hub and other prizes.
Honorable Mention certificates and Magnetic Poetry sets went to Andrew Doan, Dodge City High School, for “Her Ephemeral Existence;” Alexandria Bowen, LHS, for “Swim, Swim, Swim;” and Chelsea Lavery, LHS, for “The Bliss of Children.”
The contest drew 30 entries from Liberal, Dodge City, Hugoton, Turpin, Okla., and Beaver, Okla.
The Coffee House also showcased eight SCCC/ATS students reading their original poetry, along with SCCC/ATS English instructors Bill McGlothing and Janice Northerns.
“It was an amazing evening,” Northerns said. “We had a capacity crowd – bigger than last year, and I am always excited for the community to see how talented our student writers are.”
Readers from SCCC/ATS included Nancy Baez, Hugoton; Gwen Friesen, Moscow; Samantha Gillespie, Liberal; Dana Loewen, Meade; Kirsten Morris, Ulysses; Alexander Olinger, Hugoton; Jose Rodriguez, Liberal; and Caitlin Workman, Liberal.
Bill McGlothing, SCCC/ATS English instructor and emcee for the evening, pronounced the event a success.
“We had a fine mix of poems, readers, and listeners: college students, high school students, serious poems, humorous poems, long and short, covering a range of subjects and styles,” he said. “It was an exceptional evening. I hope everyone who was there enjoyed it as much as I did.”
This was the second year for the Poetry Coffee House, and organizers plan to make it an annual event.
“We definitely want to continue this,” Northerns said. “April is National Poetry Month, and hosting a Coffee House is a great way to allow folks to enjoy listening to some of our local poets. We’ll probably do it in April next year, too.”
Poems by many of the SCCC/ATS students who read at Thursday’s Coffee House will appear in the upcoming edition of Telolith, the school’s award-winning creative writing/art journal. The new issue is slated for publication in early May, and a reception will take place on campus to celebrate its release and honor the contributors. A date for the reception, which is open to the public, will be announced later.