Edmonds residents take top prizes in Shoreline Arts Council poetry contest


Edmonds residents swept first-place honors in the both the Adult and Student categories of the fourth annual Poetry Month Celebration sponsored by the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Arts Council. Monda Van Hollebeke of Edmonds took first place for her poem “Homeless Man on the Avenue” and first place in the Student Division went  to Emma Spence, a sophomore at Edmonds-Woodway High School, for her poem “Her Garden.” 

“‘Her Garden’  is a poem that uses sonic devices and specific, vivid imagery, using nature and the seasons as a metaphor for mortality, surely a time-honored subject in poetry,” the judges wrote. “This poem is easily as good as many that have been published in “adult” literary magazines, so I hope the poet sticks with their writing and decides to send out some work for publication.

Second-place winner in the student category was Jessica Langsted, an Edmonds-Woodway High School sophomore, for her poem “The Ballet,” which judges said “ has a lyric grace that goes very well with the subject. I myself don’t know much about ballet but this poem communicates the silences, difficulties, and the pressures of the dance.” Taking third place was another Edmonds-Woodway sophomore, Jessica Irby, for her poem “Esperanza,” described by judges as a  “plain-spoken description of an immigrant day laborer” that “excelled in its use of specifics – the clothes the man wears, the kind of truck that pulls up to offer work – which draws the reader into the man’s world.”  Another E-W student, sophomore Anna McLane, received two honorable mentions for “A Song for a Son” and  “Black and White.”  

The celebration of the winners will be Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. at Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park Towne Centre. Winners of the annual poetry contest in student and adult categories, juried by poets Jeannine Hall Gailey and Martha Silano, will read their poems. Published poets Belle Randall and Janee J. Baugher will then read and discuss their work.  

Third Place Commons is located inside the Lake Forest Park Towne Centre, 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park. For more information, contact the Arts Council office at 206-417-4645 or email at [email protected].

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