In celebration of National Poetry Month this April, Palatine Public Library District hosted its ninth annual poetry contest. The Library received nearly 200 poems from poets of all ages. Work by residents of the Library District were considered for the Nancy J. Heggem Poetry Awards, and work by poets living beyond the district's boundaries were considered for the Library's Write On! Awards.
Entries were read and discussed by professional local poets who served as contest judges. Nancy Heggem coordinated the judging and donated the prizes for the award named in her honor, while the nonresident awards were determined by poets Kate Hutchinson and Terry Loncaric. The winners were honored at a special ceremony on Sunday, May 6. Over 100 people attended the event, which included: refreshments; musical entertainment by members of the Fremd High School string orchestra; additional prize drawings; and an Open Mic.
Winners of the Nancy J. Heggem Awards received a certificate and a cash prize. Winners of the Write On! Awards received a certificate and a gift card. One additional performance-based prize was awarded following the Open Mic at Sunday's event; as the top performer in the Open Mic, Varun Kumar received a Half-Price Books gift card.
"This event would not have been possible without the support of our community, benefactors, teen volunteers, and volunteer judges," reflects librarian and contest coordinator Tracie Padal. "While we can only give away a limited number of prizes, it was thrilling to bring so many aspiring writers together. We hope that all of the participants continue to make poetry a part of their lives."
2018 Nancy J. Heggem Awards:
Winner, Youth (Lower Elementary): “Ice Cream” by Ryan Henderson-Begg
Honorable Mention, Youth (Lower Elementary): “Baking” by Addie Dietrich
Winner, Youth (Upper Elementary): “Typhoon” by Levyn Mathew
Honorable Mention, Youth (Upper Elementary): “Art of a Twister” by Thomas Applebaum
Winner, Teen: “woman of color” by Ayushi Tripathi
Honorable Mention, Teen: “American” by Ysabelle Buenavista
Winner, Adult: “Crowned with Clouds” by Michael Masterton
Honorable Mention, Adult: “The Way” by Janet Spaletto
2018 Write On! Awards:
Winner, Youth (Lower Elementary): “Cuddly Penguins” by Anvi Nagwekar
Honorable Mention, Youth (Lower Elementary): “Cottage” by Caroline Cotovsky
Honorable Mention, Youth (Lower Elementary): “Sunset” by Josephine Cottenier
Winner, Youth (Upper Elementary): “What I am Made of” by Julianna Rao
Winner, Teen: “Love is a lot like Nature” by Frank Adams