The Gaithersburg Book Festival has selected the finalists for their second annual high school student poetry contest.
The book festival – originally scheduled for May 16 at Bohrer Park – was cancelled due to the coronavirus health crisis but the poetry contest is going on as planned.
The first, second and third place winners will be announced in an online video on Wednesday, May 20. The reveal video will also feature the 2020 judge, poetry critic Elizabeth Lund.
The prizes for the first, second and third place winners are $250, $100 and $50, provided by Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County, and the fan favorite winner will receive $25.
“During difficult times, many people turn to poetry for insight and inspiration,” said Lund, who will select the top three entries. “The finalists for this year’s high school poetry contest provide that, and much more. Their poems are bold, surprising and honest, sometimes heartbreakingly so. The talent and adroitness of these young writers give me hope for the future.”
Listed below are the finalists:
- Gabriellla Allen – Quince Orchard High School (Germantown, Md.)
- Solange Campos – Poolesville High School (Poolesville, Md.)
- Rina Fishman – Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (Rockville, Md.)
- Darshini Babu Ganesh – Poolesville High School (Poolesville, Md.)
- Kiran Krishnan – Winston Churchill High School (Potomac, Md.)
- Sabrina Mei – Richard Montgomery High School (Rockville, Md.)
- Sarah Patch – Poolesville High School (Poolesville, Md.)
- Lucas Reynolds – The Nora School (Silver Spring, Md.)
- Lucy Shen – Richard Montgomery High School (Rockville, Md.)
- Trishelle Weed – Old Mill High School (Glen Burnie, Md.)
To be eligible to participate in the contest students needed to be enrolled in grades 9-12 at a public, private or homeschool program for the 2019-2020 school year and reside in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia.
The finalists’ poems are posted on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website where people can read them and vote for their favorite entry. Voting closes on Friday, May 8, at 11 p.m.
“This is another terrific opportunity for our future bards,” said Jud Ashman, founder of the Festival and mayor of the City of Gaithersburg. “There are some genuinely talented young writers and poets in our region, and it makes us all proud to give them a big spotlight through the Gaithersburg Book Festival.”