In celebration of National Poetry Month this April, Palatine Public Library District hosted its tenth annual poetry contest. The Library received poems from 266 poets of all ages. Residents of the Library District vied for the Nancy J. Heggem Poetry Awards, and nonresident submissions from the northwest suburbs 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 poets Kate Hutchinson and Terry Loncaric selected the Write On winners. The winners were honored at a special ceremony on Sunday, May 5, which included refreshments 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 magnetic poetry kit. Honorable mentions earned a certificate. One additional performance-based prize was awarded following the Open Mic at Sunday's event; as the top performer in the Open Mic, Ryan Richert received a “Poet” mug.
"This event would not be possible without support from 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 is thrilling to bring so many aspiring writers together. We hope that all of the participants continue to make poetry a part of their lives."
2019 Nancy J. Heggem Awards:
Winner, Youth (Lower Elementary): “If I Were a Pencil” by Kate Mu
Honorable Mention, Youth (Lower Elementary): “Ocean, Ocean” by Zoe Horn
Winner, Youth (Upper Elementary): “Practice” by Alyssa Bourgeois
Honorable Mention, Youth (Upper Elementary): “The Homeless, the Hungry” by Sarah Fouraker
Winner, Teen: “Syncopation” by Alexis Tziortzis
Honorable Mention, Teen: “Lying So Still, Water Can Kill” by Avani Marmer
Winner, Adult: “Now Hear This” by Kristin Larson
Honorable Mention, Adult: “Floaters at Sea” by Zoe Pawelczak
2019 Write On! Awards:
Winner, Youth (Lower Elementary): “Inside My Heart” by Adrian Kociubinski
Winner, Youth (Upper Elementary): “Space Spectacular” by Paul Ratasuk
Winner, Teen: “Sunset's Deception” by Frank Adams
Winner, Adult: “Into the Room” by Grace McGovern
Honorable Mention, Adult: “Goosed” by Donald Miller