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Poetry Contest

"I think that I shall never see / A poem lovely as our Poetry Pole . . ."

In honor of National Poetry Month, we at Island Books are co-sponsoring a poetry contest (along with the Mercer Island Arts Council) open to all ages. Let the muses speak through you in high-flown language or just use your own off-the-cuff voice, but send your poems our way so we can post them on our Poetry Pole!

For those who don't already know, the Poetry Pole is a functional piece of art that's proudly displayed in our store. Inspired by a similar project undertaken by a Yakima small press publisher named Jim Bodeen, Island Books owner Roger Page decided our community likewise needed a place to share poems and thoughts. A better bulletin board, if you will. He told the story to a local artist and teacher named Roz Ray, and she led her alternative high school class in the production of this beautiful work.

Help it flower by attaching your pages of verse to its now-bare trunk. What better way to usher in the spring?

When: Contest opens April 1st and closes April 30th.

How: Submit electronically to (subject line: POETRY CONTEST) or come in person to hang submissions yourself.

Who: Everyone! Poems will be judged in several categories:

  • K through 3rd grade
  • 4th and 5th grade
  • Middle and high school
  • Adults

What: Your theme is "What I Can Touch." The underage crowd can submit in any form, while adults must restrict themselves to either the haiku or the limerick.

Why: The prizes, of course! Island Books gift certificates will be awarded in each of the youth categories as follows:

  • First prize--$30
  • Second prize--$20
  • Third prize--$10
One adult winner will also receive a $30 gift certificate.

We'll be announcing the winners at an in-store ceremony on Sunday, May 6th at 3:30pm. You need not be present to win, but we'd love to see you all there.