Local Students Write Poetry and Reap Reward

Local Students Write Poetry and Reap Reward

To the Editor:

Perhaps when your school is named for a famous poet, a flair for rhythmic verse comes naturally. This appears to be the case for students attending Langston Hughes Middle School in Reston.

More than 75 students entered this year’s annual poetry contest, and winners were just announced. The contest, sponsored by Northwest Federal Credit Union and the school’s PTA, offered students an arena in which to express an idea poetically, an opportunity that may often get

overlooked in our otherwise high-stress-, get-to-soccer-practice-, standardized-test-plagued teens.

N. Barry Carver, this year’s poetry contest coordinator, says about writing, “Nothing sharpens the mind like considerate writing, done on a deadline, for a potential payday.” He would know; he’s an author himself.

First-place winner Chelsea LeSage is a seventh grader at Hughes who won for her poem, “Dimples." "Dimples" is a sad but subtly and elegantly finessed poem tracing an individual's transformation from authenticity to artifice.

Chelsea received 200 dollars for her efforts.

Awards were given out on Monday afternoon and in addition to the first prize, included a 100-dollar prize for second place winner, seventh grader Sarah Mamros, and a ten-dollar prize for each of the ten honorable mention winners. All students who entered received an offer for a $10 gift card.

But maybe the real prize is in the opportunity to

experience the risk of writing with feeling and making something of lasting human value.

“We’re so proud of all our students here at Hughes,” says Hughes principal Aimee Monticchio. “They show dynamic range in their writing far beyond their years.”

Courtney Wilson