Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Outstanding Students Shine in the Ohio Poetry Association Contest



In a recent article in The Atlantic, titled,  “Why Teaching Poetry is so Important,” Andrew Simmons wrote,
"Poetry enables teachers to teach their students how to write, read, and understand any text. Poetry can give students a healthy outlet for surging emotions. Reading original poetry aloud in class can foster trust and empathy in the classroom community, while also emphasizing speaking and listening skills that are often neglected in high school literature classes.


Sara Abou Rashed, OPA Grand Prize winner in the 2014-15 
contests reads  her poetry at the annual picnic. Sara is from 
Centennial High School.  Her teacher was Sarah E. Barry.
The Ohio Poetry Association has long recognized the value of encouraging young people to participate in poetry.  For the past thirty-three years, we have been sponsoring an annual student poetry contest. This year’s contest brings opportunities for prizes and publication across ten categories such as poetry of place, of family, ekphrastic poetry, and poetry that celebrates women.  A grand prize winner will be published in Common Threads, OPA’s poetry journal and have an opportunity to read their poem at a public gathering. Ten eligible winners' poems will be sent on to the Manningham Trust Student Poetry Contest sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Submissions are currently being accepted until January 15, 2016.

The OPA contest is open to any student in grades 9–12 in public schools, private and faith-based schools, and home schooled students in Ohio. There is no entry fee. For complete guidelines and a list of all the categories, check out the OPA website. 

Sandra Feen, who teaches English 10 and Creative Writing at Briggs High School in Columbus, has encouraged her students to participate for several years. She says, "OPA provides high school contests that appeal to students of all demographics and engage an array of artistic palettes. My students look forward to all of the contest choices each year and see it as a privilege to submit to a quality literary organization such as the Ohio Poetry Association, where they know their work will be thoughtfully considered and revered."
 
Michael Rainwater placed third in the Manningham
competition last year. Michael is home schooled by his
mother, Holli Rainwater.
The success of the contest depends upon getting information about it to high schools and high school teachers across the state. We will be contacting schools with mailings and flyers; but, if you know of a high school aged student, please let them know about the contest and encourage them to participate. If you know a teacher, please inform them of the contest as well. It is often through the encouragement of teachers like Sandra Feen, that a young person first comes to poetry. 


© 2015 The Ohio Poetry Association




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