Contest aims to prompt more poets

By Roseline Collins - Staff Reporter

Highline's fifth annual poetry contest is an effort to shed light on the importance of poetry and will award students cash prizes for the best submissions. 

Poetry is more relevant than ever, said a Highline instructor. 

Students, both current and recently graduated, can win prizes. 

The contest serves as an introduction to National Poetry Month, taking place throughout April of each year, which was brought together in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, a non-profit organization that supports poets and poetry.

"We need poetry now more than ever. Poetry is a way for someone to express themselves freely," said Professor Susan Rich, who is a published writer and who teaches creative writing. 

"Everything is changing about poetry today. Poetry today is diverse. It is open to anyone who wants to explore," said Rich.

She said that each year the poetry contest gets stronger as more than 100 students submitted their works last year.

The deadline for submission this year is Friday, Feb. 17 at 4 p.m. Poems are submitted through email to Highline reference librarian Deborah Moore.

Submissions must be typed and cannot exceed more than three submitted works and works must be unique, open to any subject, and not previously published. The work cannot exceed more than 20 lines and must be able to fit on an 8 1/2-by-11-inch sheet of paper. Final drafts of all poems are only to be submitted to Moore's email at to be considered for judging according to the guidelines posted on Highline's website regarding the poetry contest.

Ten individuals will be chosen for a prize. The first prize winner of the contest is granted $125, the second winner is awarded $100, the third-place winner is prized with $75 and there are seven finalists whom win $50 each.   

Winners of the contest and selected poets will have their poems displayed in the art exhibit in the library at Highline beside the works of previous winners and published writings of other poets. A free reception will also he hosted in April for students to read their poetry and explore the works of others.

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