High school scribes encouraged to enter 33rd annual Poetry Contest

Bucks County high schoolers can submit three poems by March 6 for the chance to win $300

Bucks County Community College calls on creative young people to enter the 33rd annual Bucks County High School Poet of the Year contest for the chance to win $300.

Students have until Friday, March 6 to submit three original poems, according to Dr. Ethel Rackin, director of the Bucks County Poet Laureate Program, which runs the Bucks County High School Poet of the Year contest.

The contest is open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors who live in Bucks County or attend a Bucks County high school. Home-schooled students may also enter. Previous winners are not eligible.

In addition to the prize money, the winner receives a proclamation from the Bucks County Commissioners, and the opportunity to read at a reception on the college’s Newtown campus. The winning poems and one poem from each entrant will be published in an anthology, Writes of Passage, to be distributed at the reading. Runners-up and finalists in the contest will also be invited to read one poem at the public event, which each year attracts an overflow crowd.

“Entering the High School Poet of the Year contest may give students a chance to discover and develop a talent they may not have realized they had,” said Rackin, a language and literature professor at Bucks.

What’s more, participating in the public poetry reading may help a student stand out in the college search.

“Mentioning the contest, public reading and anthology on college applications will demonstrate initiative, writing skills and public speaking experience,” Rackin added. “Clearly, there’s a lot to gain from entering this contest.”

Each participant must submit three original poems with a free entry form, which can be obtained from bucks.edu/poets, from high school English teachers, or from the college’s Language & Literature Department at 215-968-8150. Entries must be postmarked by Friday, March 6 or delivered by 4 p.m. that day to: Bucks County High School Poet of the Year Contest, Department of Language and Literature, Grupp Hall 105, Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA 18940.

The contest will be judged by the current Bucks County Poet Laureate Mary Jo LoBello Jerome and the 2018 poet laureate Carly Volpe.

To learn more about the program, visit bucks.edu/poets. For more information, contact Rackin at ethel.rackin@bucks.edu.