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Annual Poetry Contest Accepting Submissions Until April 12

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Jocelyn Martinez '19
April 1, 2019

The Literary Club's annual Poetry Contest, which has been a tradition here for many years, is an event that many students look forward to as a way to express their emotions and showcase their inner Shakespeare. The Literary Club is currently accepting submissions for the contest. The deadline to enter is April 12th.

Poetry Contest; photo credit: Jocelyn Martinez '19 The Co-Advisors of the Literary Club, Mrs. Megan Miele and Ms. Mary Garofalo, take a lot of pride in organizing the annual Poetry Contest. Together they sort all of the entries together and ultimately determine the finalists.

The requirements for this contest make it very accessible for students to enter their work as they please. "The requirements are simple. Just email any one or two poems you would like to either my email or Mrs. Garofalo's email," stated Mrs. Miele.

The simplicity of this contest gives the competitors a lot of free will as to what they would like to submit. "There are no limitations in poetry. Therefore, you cannot be required to think or write a certain way," mentioned Maria Hoffman '19.

After finalists are chosen, those poems are read over and judged by about five or six English teachers, who carefully analyze every piece. "We have a rubric for each poem, then collaborate and compare each one," commented Mrs. Garofalo.

The final winners are then announced during the last Literary Club meeting of the year, which is always held at The Fine Grind in Little Falls. Lastly, the students who are ranked the highest by the judges are then awarded with varying prizes.

"We have received upwards to 70 students submitting their poetry annually," exclaimed Mrs. Miele. Poetry Contest; photo credit: Jocelyn Martinez '19

The great poetry that is read over by Passaic Valley's teachers eventually is published for the public in Passaic Valley's Literary Magazine, Images. "The thing I love most about this contest is ultimately getting to witness and appreciate my competitors' poems in the end," Hoffman commented.

The various topics that students write about is astonishing, and this contest is a great influence on other students to become more interested in the art of poetry. "Once the poetry contest came around, there was a buzz in the school, and I wanted to be a part of it," Michela Speller '19 stated, recounting how she was first exposed to the contest.

The student authors who participate are not just celebrated for their creativity but also their courage. "My poetry comes straight from my heart and it helped me get through some tough times," uttered Hoffman.

Poetry allows people to express themselves in ways they never thought they could, and this contest is just another way in which the students of Passaic Valley can showcase their talents, thoughts, and emotions. "With the poetry contest, kids who don't usually consider themselves writers take a chance and enter the contest," mentioned Mrs. Garofalo.

The Poetry Contest serves as an annual reminder of the talent of the student body and also allows students to share their personal sentiments with their peers who appreciate the same art they do.