County-wide contest names best in verse

| 02 May 2012 | 12:51

SPARTA — Sussex County’s best young poets gathered at the Sparta Library on Wednesday evening, April 25. The 18 writers recited their works in front of family, friends and poetry fans during a ceremony held in the reading area of the library. Lyn Gebhard, the Sparta children’s librarian briefly explained that this is the 24th poetry contest in celebration of National Poetry Month. She said that there were 743 submissions for the contest and thanked the judges for their hard work. “It is always such a pleasure to work with the judges for this contest,” said Gebhard. “Each one has been an inspiration to me and they are always enthusiastic and willing to participate.” Wendy Gilson, the judge for the sixth grade division said of the 250 poems she reviewed, “Each one of your poems has that little glimmer of truth that I think a good poem has, that little moment.” After reading 300 seventh grade submissions, judge Janet Cutshall felt she had a good idea what was on the minds of seventh graders. “Friends, homework, the Giants, pets, vacations, the Giants, soccer, lacrosse, and the Giants.” The eighth grade judge, Mary Ann Hyland, recalled the difficulty in choosing the best poems from such a collection of quality work. “As I read through them I realized that this is a wonderful group of talented eighth graders and it was a very difficult choice.” The top three finishers, and three honorable mentions, in each grade read their work to the audience. Sparta Mayor Jerry Murphy thanked all of the contestants and was pleased to see it was not an all-female contest. “I’m so please to see that at least one-third of them are male. When I went to school it was one of those things — that guys didn’t write poetry. Congratulations to all of you and don’t ever stop writing.” After the presentation of the awards the authors, judges and the audience were invited to stay for light refreshments. The winners: Sixth grade First place - Austin Reza of Frankford, Frankford Township School Second place - Trey Osborn, Sussex Middle School Third place - Justin French, Frankford Township School Honorable mention - Christopher Hennion, Frankford Township School Honorable mention - Chloe Esperance, Reverend Brown School Honorable mention - Dara Bilotti, Halsted Street School Seventh grade First place - Caleb MacGray of Andover, Northwest Christian School Second place - McKenzie Dunn, Sussex Middle School Third place - Alicia Whitehead, Sussex Middle School Honorable mention - Lauryn Adams, Reverend Brown School Honorable mention Sarah McGinnis, Hamburg School Honorable mention Lindsay Zugelder, Sparta Middle School Eighth grade First place - Natalie Bossart of Sparta, Reverend Brown School Second place - Lauren Platz, Lafayette Township School Third place - Maureen Douglas, Kittatinny Regional High School Honorable mention - Jacob Guido, Kittatinny Regional High School Honorable mention - Cassidy Jameson, Lafayette Township School Honorable mention - Hannah Ervey of Long Pond School