May winners and June word of the month

Hi everyone,

WRITERS AT WORK, regularly scheduled for today, will appear tomorrow this week so that I can announce this month’s honored poets.

First, the Word of the Month poets chosen by our panel of distinguished judges.

Ken Slesarik for his poem, “Yeti’s Promise.” Ken is from Arizona and last month tied with Mary Nida Smith (Arkansas) for the Hall of Fame voting. Here’s a comment from one of the judges. “Certainly original, with a touch of the absurd! This imaginative poem has an interesting rhyme scheme, with line 7’s chime echoing loud and clear. Repeat vowel sounds also work well: ‘sassafrassin’ and ‘horoscopes in hopes.’ Congratulations, Ken!

Runner-up for May’s Word of the Month Poet is Cory Corrado from Montreal for her poem, “Promises.” One judge had this to say about Cory’s poem. “I love these lines especially: ‘Buzzing pollen kisses,’ ‘Cherrilicious red harvest,’ and ‘Nature’s pledge-unspoken, unbroken.’ Way to go, Cory!

Several past winners in both divisions who are ineligible to win again during this cycle nevertheless joined in the fun of Word of the Month and entertained us with their work. Thanks to Gay Fawcett, Julie Krantz, Steven Withrow, and other previous winners who continue to support W.O.M.

Every judge commented on how strong the young poets’ work was in May. As a group they all deserve much credit.

The poet selected to be May Word of the Month Young Poet is Maya Dayal who attends 6th grade in Ohio at Maumee Valley Country Day School and whose teacher is Jana Smith. Maya’s poem is “Broken Home, Broken Field.” Congratulations, Maya. The judges were moved by and loved your poem!

In a close second place is Emma Lavetter-Keiden, a 5th grader at Maumee Valley whose teacher, Nan Valuck, posted her lovely poem, “Balance.” Here’s what one judge had to say about Emma’s poem. “I like the light and dark contrast created in this poem: ‘One shedding light/ The other stealing it.’ The occasional use of a single word per line is effective. Repetition works well in the last three lines. A nice piece of writing — with an air or mystery about it.”

I should mention that a previous winner in both divisions (Word of the Month Young Poet and also Monthly Hall of Fame Young Poet) turned in another strong effort this month. He couldn’t win again during this period but we still appreciated the work of P. Andrew Pipatjarasgit for his poem, “The King’s ‘Grammer.'”

Now we turn to May’s Hall of Fame Poets who were selected by popular vote from readers and fans.

Jackie Huppenthal from Indiana wins in a tight race for her poem, “It’s Sneaky — Be Aware.” Previous winners who were also in the race include Gay Fawcett for her poem, “Foolish Games,” Ken Slesarik for his poem, “Yeti’s Promise,” Steven Withrow for his poem, “Right Whale Bones,” and Janet Gallagher for her poem, “Promises.”

Our winning poet for May is Ishani Gupta, grade 5, for her poem, “Unbroken.” Runnerup is Rory Hopkins, grade 5, for his poem, “Curse You Homework.” Rory’s poem is the only one for two voices that we’ve ever received. Both students are from Maumee Valley Country Day School in Toledo, Ohio.

Congratulations to all of our winners and to everyone who spent the time and effort to participate in the month’s Word of the Month exercise. I’m grateful and I look forward to your contributions next month. And now . . .

The Word of the Month for June is PET.