August 7, 2022

Winners of the 16th Annual Student Poetry Project

To celebrate National Poetry Month, the winning poets and poems of the 16th Lehigh Valley Press Student Poetry Project are the subject of this special edition of LVAS with hosts Paul Willistein, editor of Lehigh Valley Press Focus, and George VanDoren , president of the Poetry Project selection committee.

They present the poems in first place in each of the three categories: elementary, middle and high school. Hear live readings and interviews from EllaMary Groller, 5th grade student at the Charter Academy of the Arts, and Avery Lynn, senior at Freedom High School. George also reads the poem in the college category of Ian Verna, a 7th grade student of the Charter of the Academy of the Arts.

Update 5/1/2021:

Primary school 1st place: When it’s all over by EllaMary Groller

When it’s all over I’ll go to the mall, Vera Bradley’s where I’ll touch all the school bags and lunch boxes All the red, yellow and pink spots of stylish colors and designs. And I’ll see my friends. I will touch them too! And we will have sleepovers again. We’ll go to bed at eleven o’clock, eat junk food straight out of the bag, and not even worry about germs. We’ll paint each other’s nails, laughing and talking about boys. We’re going to sit close to each other, much closer than 6 feet, #notsocialdistancing. We will listen to music and dance, fortified dances, The Hype and the Orange Julius, our arms crossing. Cool children! And we will laugh out loud! We will lie on the floor, fold our arms, And when a friend pushes us over Our real laughter will explode in the air! I will still eat in restaurants, like Torre, Guacamole and crisps Mango coconut iced tea A fresh delight on my throat Of course I will go with my friends. We will have a competition to see who can drink the mango tea faster. Someone will probably spit it out and it will be funny Loud laughter that hurts our cheeks from wrinkling So much… JOY!

1st place in college: Boredom by Ian Verne

If boredom was a color, it would be white, white as a blank canvas. If boredom was a taste, it would be like stale crackers. If boredom was a smell, it would be as boring as boiling water. If boredom was a sound, it would be as piercing as white noise. If Boredom was called any other name, it would be Quarantine.

1st place in high school: icarus repeated by Avery Lynn

icarus as a love story icarus as a boy, young and in love and fallen not out of favor but in the depths of it. icarus as a boy who fell not because of his arrogance but because he wanted to. because he had spent his whole life locked in the dark, so what could make him feel more alive than a single moment of blissful freedom, so pure that it has never been shared by one? other man. What more could he desire than the tender kiss of Apollo, that its rays shine on his pale and dull skin, that his flesh tingle under the icy breath of the wind which passes before him, for the sweet and merciful burial found in the depths of Poseidon. father, forgive him, but icarus was in love. boy grown up in the shadows and boy killed by the sun. Sometimes you spend your whole life wishing for something without even tasting it. sometimes you die with hollow, moth-eaten dreams deep in your heart. icarus swallowed his dreams whole. sticky, sweet juice flowing down his bony fingers, a boy so hungry he ate the whole world. (his eyes were still bigger than his stomach) he is now sitting at Apollo’s feet, tanned and tanned and happy and tired of being painted like a fool. he did what so few people had the courage to do, and devoted himself entirely to what he wanted. icarus as the boy who never learned to do things by halves. the boy who was told to stay between the sun and the sea and instead he touched both. who was told to stay afloat, so he drowned in the waves of his desires, woke up to Apollo’s beaming face and his warm hands, saying, “I was trying to give you some thing better. ” and icarus cuts off the face of the god. he is not afraid because he does not know how to be. Apollo shines with a thousand lights. icarus traces his dark cheekbone, says, “What could be better than that?” and he’s telling the truth, for now he’s seated in Apollo’s concert halls, heard a thousand symphonies, been the subject of millions of poems, boy made of marble and boy carved in stone. boy of the sun and the sea and the sky. icarus flew away not to run away but to run towards something intangible, something he wanted. father thank you for the wings but your son is made of stars. icarus flew for love, love, all the time, it was for love.

The winning works were also published in print editions of the 8 Lehigh Valley Press journals and on the Lehigh Valley Press website (elementary, middle and high school).

Tune Lehigh Valley Arts Fair every Monday from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. following All things Considered.

(Original broadcast date: 04/26/2012)