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2023 Poetry Contest Winners

poetry contest

Thank you to every student who submitted their poem for the 2023 Poetry Writing Contest.

Hear the winners read their poems. Continue finding inspiration and enjoy poetry by listening to Poetry Moment on WPSU. We look forward to seeing your work in next year’s contest!

Listen to the winning poems here!

Join us in celebrating the top three poems selected from each grade band for the 2023 Poetry Writing Contest!

Kindergarten – 2nd Grade

Sam Ray, 1st Grade
Centre Hall, PA

Tiny white mushrooms
Children yelling
and running
Soft flexible flower petals
Sap flows
Maple Sap-
soon it will be
sticky super sweet syrup
Yellow flowers bloom
Warm breezes swooshing.

Allison Caron, Kindergarten
State College, PA

The sunshine lights up the flowers.
The sunshine wakes up the birds.
The sunshine blooms the trees.
The sunshine becomes a moon.
The moon shines on the house
The moon shines on the cars.
The moon shine becomes a sun.
The sunshine lights up our new day.

The End.

The Big Wide World
Alice Rimland, 2nd Grade
Boalsburg, PA

Why is the world so big?
Why is the world so round?
Why is the world even here?
It’s all a mystery.
Why is summer hot?
Why is winter cold?
Why are there even seasons at all?
I may never know.
Why did I ever write this poem?
So why was I ever born?
Life holds so much more than what’s in the near future.
Wonder awaits!

3rd – 5th Grade

Trent Miles, 5th Grade
Warren, PA

When on the breaking bench
When hearing boink, screech
When it felt like seven hours
When looking at people on the court having fun
Finally, my name was called
Went out on the court
Got the basketball
Time was ticking
Shot was took
“Errrrrrr” buzzer beater
Shot made crowd goes wild

Mother, Mother
Guenivere Nudd, 5th Grade
Warren, PA

I always ask, “Mother, mother,
How does this work?”
“Mother, mother, please help me with this.”
But I never get a response.
I wonder why.
So, I ask again,
“Mother, mother, why don’t you answer me?”
But still, no response.
I wonder if she can hear me?

The Meadowlark
Poppy Goble, 4th Grade
State College, PA

High on the mountain, a meadowlark,
enthralled by the beauty, bursts forth and sings.
All around the mountain his glorious voice rings.

But now the sun is obliterated by clouds and thunder
crashes in a cacophony of noise and the rain comes down
and drenches the poor meadowlark and he takes refuge
under a tree.

6th – 8th Grade

A New Possibility
Eveline Overdurf, 6th Grade
Lemont, PA

First there was nothing
A blank page
Waiting to be a story
A story of dragons, of princesses, and lost princes
Or maybe it’s a story of change, of patience

It could be a pair of wings
Flying you somewhere new
Somewhere no one else has been

It could give hope, or give comfort
It could change you, or strengthen you
It could tell truth, make people see the past all the lies

It could help save lives
Fix things that are broken
Mend the torn
Cure the sick

All on a single page of blank paper a better world could be formed

I Remember
Amelia Briede, 6th Grade
Lewisburg, PA

I remember
The nervous feeling
Of stepping through
My new school’s
2nd grade door
To find a happy blond,
Waiting for me,
With a voice like honey.

I remember
Taking a bow in costume
With the audience cheering
And crying
For me
And some of
My best friends.

I remember
The bitter sensation of jealousy
Turn into
The strongest feeling
Of love
For a new friend.

I remember
Holding a new baby,
Not then aware
The rest of my days
Would be spent with her,
I remember.

Facing the Window
Renee Buda, 7th Grade
State College, PA

I am glad
that my seat
in the classroom
faces the window
so that I can see
the rain outside
the tears I cannot

I am glad
that my seat
in the classroom
faces the window
so that I can see
the clouds outside
expressing the anger
that I cannot

I am glad
that my seat
in the classroom
faces the window
so that I can see
the plants outside
quivering with the nervousness
that I cannot

I am glad
that my seat
in the classroom
faces the window
so that I can see
the wind outside
roaring it’s opinions
that I cannot

I am glad
that my seat
in the classroom
faces the window
so that I can see
the birds outside
speaking the words
That I cannot

I am glad
that my seat
in the classroom
faces the window
but I’m not sure
how much longer
I can
hold back the tears
resist the anger
calm the nervousness
stifle my opinions
mute the words

I hope
I have the courage
the strength
to let them all
come rushing out

9th – 12th Grade

A Poem for the Winter Solstice
Tori Korman, 12th Grade
State College, PA

Night has swallowed the day; the sun has sunk
Into the pitch, that which bleeds from pines or
Bubbles up black from hidden faerie fonts,
The steaming blood of the green-girdled earth.
And yet just as he has left, he returns,
First fixing his rays upon the flat yew,
Then the bare-branched oak, cloaked in pure white snow.
Next, he graces the holly, setting the
viridian twigs aglow with life’s light.
How beautiful the song! We run to greet him,
And we rejoice as he chases away
Those dark, ice-fanged wolves of winter’s zenith.

Just Kids
Alaina Olson, 11th Grade
Oil City, PA

As I look around me,
I see legs bouncing.
I hear sighs from overworked,
overstressed students.
Students biting their nails,
tapping their pencils,
fidgeting with whatever they can,
to help relieve their stress and anxiety.
Students with newly-ironed clothes,
hair perfectly in place,
with their shoes tied and backpacks organized,,
making it seem as though they have their life together.
But, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you took a look into their minds,
you’d see how scary of a place it really is.
Constant thoughts of not being smart enough,
being too poor,
or not being pretty enough.
Weighing too much
or too little.
Just simply not being good enough.
Not being the “perfect” idea of what you should be,
and what you should look like that society has created.
Questioning if anything about them is good enough.
“They’re just kids,”
What did they do to deserve this?

Aurea Slimak, 10th Grade
DuBois, PA

Among the foggy mist of morning
Along the beach, a woman stands
Darkened eyes to match her hair
Scans the sand for someone
Who? She doesn’t know
Sits on cold sand