Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Special Message from Ohio Poetry Day Association

by Amy Jo Zook

The 83rd celebration of Poetry Day is October 3 and is like no other, because of the various strictures demanded by the Coronavirus. Instead, we will do as many of our traditional things as possible and make substitutions for the rest until we can resume our customary ways.

We are producing our usual book of winning poems, BEST OF 2020, which will be available at and after Poetry Day, and may possibly be ready a week or so before, so it can be ordered to have in-hand by October 3. As always, order from Amy Jo Zook, the usual cost-plus-mailing of $14.

The booklet of Workshop poems, with critique / comments attached, will be available also, for $2, no extra postage if mailed with BEST OF, or $2.55 if mailed separately. Winners and those who usually attend the workshop will want this.

As an experiment, we are producing a CD of Ohio Poet of the Year Kari Gunter-Seymour reading from her book, that will be available for $5 postpaid separate from the other items from Poetry Day, or it can be included in a book mailing for $3.

The Ohio Poetry Association is hosting a ZOOM event on Poetry Day (October 3) , from 1:30 to 4 pm. you will hear first Ohio Poet of the Year Kari Gunter-Seymour, and then as many of the other winning poets as can get registered. Anyone who won an OPD 2020 contest or received an honorable mention and would like to read during the open mic, should also email Ohio Poetry Association president Chuck Salmons at president@ohiopoetryassn.org.

Space is limited, so register early. Register via Eventbrite at

www.eventbrite.com/e/ohio-poetry-day-virtual-celebration-tickets-1 14368551416

To order Kari's book, A Place So Deep Inside America lt Can't Be Seen:

PayPal: www.paypal.me/KariGunterSeymour -
Click on “Add a note" to leave your Name and mailing address.


Send a check with your Name and mailing address to Kari Gunter-Seymour, P.O. Box 351, Albany, OH 45710.

All these items will be easier to obtain if you order early. The 2020 books are trying print-on-demand rather than ordering and stocking books that may not sell. But we hope we will actually sell more of them when you can't attend the event.

BEST OF 2O2O, the workshop book, and the CD will be mailed with all the year's prizes and certificates, from Amy Jo Zook, 3520 State Route 56, Mechanicsburg, OH 43044. All checks should be made payable to Ohio Poetry Day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Ohio Poetry Association 2020 Student Contest Winners

The Ohio Poetry Association (OPA) is pleased to announce the winners and honorable mentions of the 2020 High School Poetry Contest. Eligible poems were sent to the National Federation of State Poetry Societies Manningham Trust Student Poetry Contest. All winning poems receive monetary awards and publication in an OPA chapbook. Congratulations to all the winners!


We want to thank each contest sponsor and judges for their support and time. The contests would not exist without all of them.

We congratulate the teachers from each school with student winning poems and honorable mentions: Bexley High School, Rikki Santer and Julie Horger; Boardman High School, Randy Nord; Bowling Green High School, Sarah Caserta; Buckeye Local High School, Stephanie Crust; Dublin Coffman High School, Tyler Gantz; Dublin Jerome High School, Samantha Razem; Hudson High School, Gina M. VonVille; Lake High School, Chris Wise; Minster High School, Jessie Magoto; Pandora-Gilboa High School, Sarah Schroeder; Sidney High School, Amy Gleason; Theodore Roosevelt High School, Pamela Harr; Toledo School for  the Arts, Justin Longacre; Waynedale High School, Kevin Stacy; West Geauga High School, Christopher Connell; Western Reserve Academy, Todd Gilbert; Whitmer High School, Cynthia Lambrecht.

Special thanks go to Sharon Fish Mooney, the student contest coordinator. Sharon devotes many hours of her time to make these contests special and to solicit as many entries from Ohio's high school students as possible. In recent years, we've seen the contests grow in the number of entries and in variety of voices. Thanks you, Sharon!


Anyone interested in sponsoring the student contests can contact Sharon Mooney via email at studentcontest@ohiopoetryassn.org for more information.

Contests and Winners

Common Threads Journal Winners (Grand Prize)

1st place: Thomas Long – Bowling Green High School 

Honorable Mention: Gwendolyn Pyle – Toledo School for the Arts

Voices from the Past -  Sponsor: Mark Hersman — Judge: Scott Craig Mooney

   1st   Alyssa Lingenfelter (Buckeye Local High School)        

2nd   Steve Bezak (Buckeye Local High School

3rd    Austin Felice (Minster High School)

David Francis Smith Award - Sponsor: Teresa Santmyer — Judge: Chuck Salmons

1st    Austin Felice  (Minster High School)

2nd  Julian Lawson (Sidney High School)

3rd   Kaden Knake (West Geauga High School)

HM: Thomas Long (Bowling Green High School); Ryan Gibson (Sidney High School); Ryan Strunk (Sidney High School) 

      New Beginnings - Sponsor and judges: Great Expectations Writers (Betsy Kennedy and Mary Beth Benicke)

         1st    Kaden Knake (West Geauga High School)

         2nd  Yeji Kim (Hudson High School)

         3rd   Yoselin Whited (Lake High School)

  HM: Claire Laux (Theodore Roosevelt High School; Austin  Felice (Minster High School); Olivia Mosca (Theodore Roosevelt High School )

Humor - Sponsor and judge: Pat Snyder Hurley

          1st   Gwendolyn Pyle (Toledo School for the Arts) 

          2nd   Bea Bolongaita (Dublin Jerome High School)

          3rd    Steve Bezak (Buckeye Local High School)

Sonnet - Sponsor and judge: Betsy Hughes

1st   Thomas Long (Bowling Green High School)

Ekphrastic - Sponsors and judges: Jane Kretschmann and Deborah Strozier

1st   Esther Gingerich (Waynedale High School)

2nd    Abigail Elizondo (Bexley High School)

3rd   Yeji Kim (Hudson High School)

A Sense of  Place - Sponsor and judge: William R. Reyer

1st   Thomas Long (Bowling Green High School)

2nd   Ava Reischuck  (Theodore Roosevelt High School)

3rd    Zhiyi Wu (Western Reserve Academy)

HM: Avery Frazier Thompson (Toledo School for the Arts); Annie Lee Johnson (Dublin Coffman High School); Grace Wieser (Boardman High School)

         Short and to the Point - Sponsor and judges: The Springfield Writers (Amy Jo Zook and Betsy Richards)

1st  Jaina DeMeter (Buckeye Local High School)

2nd  Evelyn Russell (Pandora-Gilboa High School)

3rd  Aaron Smith (Lake High School)

HM: Keenan Johnson (Sidney High School); Claire Laux (Theodore Roosevelt High School); Annie Lee Johnson (Dublin Coffman High School)

  Cinquain - Sponsor and judges: PentaPoets (Patricia Black, Janet Ladrach, Sharon Fish Mooney, Robin Mullet, Rinda Sansom)

1st   Claire Laux (Theodore Roosevelt High School)

2nd   Austin Felice (Minster High School)

3rd   Ava Reischuck (Theodore Roosevelt High School)

HM: Lexie Neuenschwander (Pandora-Gilboa High School); Quinton Peters (Whitmer High School); James White (Buckeye Local High School)