Pierce library officials host poetry contest for National Poetry Month

Pierce College students, faculty and staff are celebrating National Poetry Month all throughout April, offering written and spoken word style poetry events with prizes ranging from a $20 Amazon gift card to a $150 first place prize.

Hosted by the Pierce College library, students will be allowed to submit a one page paper telling all about a favorite poem and what it means or a 20 second video performing their favorite poem or lyric.

Submissions can be entered for the contest or displayed to the public on the Pierce College Library Facebook page. Students can praise their favorite poets and poetry by writing their most inspirational verses on a whiteboard displayed in the front of the school library.

Instructor of English, Jodi Johnson, was excited for the upcoming events, hoping to maybe see one her students present their literary talents to the school.

“We’re hoping for a great turnout this year,” Johnson said. “There are a couple competitions with some nice prizes.”

With the National Poetry Month already in progress, students as well as professors have already taken to the library’s Facebook page to present their poetry.

All forms of poetry are accepted for the video competition including classical poems, excerpts from particular musicals and even verses from contemporary forms of poetry including hip-hop or modern rock.

Judges are looking for originality and inventiveness from five winners to be chosen from separate categories: most creative, most “liked,” most enthusiastic, most poem in 20 seconds and best overall poem.

Contestants can enter as many times as they want, but the videos must be limited to a 20 second maximum.  The contest is open to faculty and staff as well as students, and winners will be contacted through Facebook or campus e-mail.

Participants are asked to provide the title and author of the poem and officials ask participants to exercise discretion when writing. The Pierce College library has the right to reject any material that is considered offensive.

As for the written contest, contributors are asked to submit a minimum one page, MLA style essay describing their favorite poem and its importance to the author of the essay. Name and contact information must be included.

The deadline for the written essay event is April 30, with the grand prize winner receiving $150 dollars, $50 to the runner-up and the third prize winner will be announced in early May.

Paula Paggi, associate professor of library science, may be contacted for further information, and she hopes to see many entrees in this year’s contest.

“We just rolled out our new Facebook page for the event,” Paggi said. “We’re looking to get a lot more people involved that way. We want to see what kind of reaction we get to it.”

Librarian Clayton Gedimon spoke of his fascination with poetry, and also wanted to see styles of rhyme that are not always seen in poetry contests. “I’m a big fan of Deltron 3030. His style of hip-hop is something that would suite this contest well,” Gedimon said.