2015 Callaway County Youth Poetry Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Callaway County Youth Poetry Contest, sponsored by the Callaway County Public Library and the Auxvasse Creative Arts Program! The theme for this year was to pull poetry “Out of the Dark.”

Callaway Winners5-8 years old
1st: Elise Klein
2nd: Dakota Harmon
3rd: Anna Klein

9-12 years old
1st: Megann M. Tenney
2nd: Kaylynn Buxton
3rd: Sophia Ruthanne English

13-18 years old
1st: Heidi Royer
2nd: Aris Lamont
3rd (tie): Amariah Ferguson
3rd (tie): Jordyn Mackey

The contest was judged by Clarence Wolfshohl and Denise Felt. For more information, please visit the Auxvasse Creative Arts Program. You can also read the winning entries on the library’s website!

Novels in Verse Are a Novel Idea

Book cover for The CrossoverAs I’m sure many of us know by now, April is National Poetry Month! However, if you (or your children) are anything like me, you hear “poetry” and immediately think of vague metaphors you think you understand but aren’t quite sure. I have flashbacks to English literature courses, having to explain the significance of poems and having no idea what Keats, Dickinson or Frost actually meant. Well, I have discovered the best way to cure my poetry anxiety! Novels in verse are absolutely wonderful. They are separate poems that come together to tell one cohesive story. Even if you do not quite understand one of the poems, the rest are there to fill in the gaps so you know the whole story.

Novels in verse are perfect for middle grade readers (and adults who love reading children’s literature like myself!). This is the age where poetry starts getting introduced in schools, and for some it can seem scary and hard. These novels can make verse seem less alien and provide a love of poetry in young readers, encouraging them to read and write their own. I, personally, have found that reading multiple novels in verse has helped me not be so afraid of reading poetry and find that I can understand what the author is talking about and get drawn into the story, just like with a regular novel. Continue reading

2014 Callaway County Youth Poetry Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Callaway County Youth Poetry Contest, sponsored by the Callaway County Public Library and the Auxvasse Creative Arts Program! The theme for this year was “I imagine a world where…”

Photo of poetry contest winners5-8 years old
1st Elise Klein
2nd Lia Bondurant
3rd Anna Klein

9-12 years old
1st Heidi Royer
2nd Haley Garrett
3rd Corrie Bolton

13-18 years old
1st Dallin Rickabaugh
2nd Garett Ballard
3rd Anna Casady

The contest was judged by Clarence Wolfshohl and Denise Felt. For more information, please visit the Auxvasse Creative Arts Program. You can also read the winning entries on the library’s website!

Imagine That! Callaway County Youth Poetry Contest

Photo of child writingApril is National Poetry Month. In celebration, the Callaway County Public Library and the Auxvasse Creative Arts Program are inviting Callaway County kids and teens to submit an original poem. Kids and teens are challenged to write a poem that explores the theme, “I imagine a world where…”

Prizes will be awarded to winners in each age group, and a brief awards ceremony will be held on May 1 at the Callaway County Public Library in Fulton. Download full contest rules and an entry form here. Entries must be received by April 14, 2014.

Need some inspiration? Check out this book list of recommended poetry and verse for kids.

Put a Poem in Your Pocket

National Poetry Month LogoI’m convinced that children are made for poetry. They are geared toward finding delight in the everyday, infuse common objects with magic and are hard-wired for play. And so much of poetry is indeed playful.

Literacy experts tell us that teaching children the joys of playing with language will help set them on the path to becoming confident readers, and poetry is a great tool for encouraging children to enjoy the sounds of words. Poems emphasize the rhythm of language and the ways individual sounds make up words. In “Reading Magic,” author Mem Fox argues, “Rhymers will be readers. It’s that simple. Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know 8 nursery rhymes by heart by the time they are 4 years old, they are usually among the best readers by the time they are 8.”

Not all poetry rhymes, of course, but reading non-rhyming poems can also benefit children. Poems often introduce new vocabulary through unusual or interesting word choices, and rich visual imagery can stimulate a child’s imagination, spurring them to see the world around them in a new way.

April is National Poetry Month, and April 18 in particular is Poem in Your Pocket Day. Encourage the kids in your life to choose a favorite poem, copy it on a piece of paper, and then share it throughout the day. Celebrate further by exploring books of poetry together. Your library has a number of poems for children, both in picture books that illustrate a single poem and in anthologies. Check out our catalog list of recommended poetry for children, and if you have a favorite poem, please share it in the comments!