Gaithersburg Book Festival Announces 2022 High School Poetry Contest Finalists

by MCS Staff

The Gaithersburg Book Festival has selected the finalists for its annual poetry contest for high school students.

The Gaithersburg Book Festival has selected the finalists for its fourth annual poetry contest for high school students. The students had to write a poem on themes of community, escape and/or freedom, and more than 185 entries poured in from around the region.

The finalists, listed in alphabetical order with the school they attend, city in which they reside and grade, are:

  • Lucy Collins – Archbishop Spalding High School (Columbia, Md.; grade 11)
  • Clara Goldberg – Winston Churchill High School (Potomac, Md.; grade 12)
  • Mischa Green – Annapolis High School (Glen Burnie, Md.; grade 11)
  • Naomi Kaul – Northwest High School (Germantown, Md.; grade 12)
  • Joy Kim – Oakton High School (Oakton, Va.; grade 11)
  • Anastasia Matveev – Montgomery Blair High School (Silver Spring, Md.; grade 12)
  • Lilly Rogers – The Bryn Mawr School (Baltimore, Md.; grade 9)
  • Sarah Siskind – Annapolis High School (Annapolis, Md.; grade 12)
  • Eugene Tibbs – Landon School (Arlington, Va.; grade 11)
  • Sophia Toth-Fejel – Archbishop Spalding High School (Millersville, Md.; grade 11)
  • Jasmin Wu – Walter Johnson High School (Bethesda, Md.; grade 10)
  • Allison Xu – Walter Johnson High School (Rockville, Md.; grade 10)

The first-, second- & third-place winners and the fan favorite will be announced on the Festival website Friday, May 13, by 2022 judge Gregory Luce, a local poet who will select the top three entries.

“It is an honor to be able to read these fine poems and it will be very difficult to choose just three,” said Luce. “The DMV can be proud that it is an incubator for the next generation of poets.”

The 12 finalist poems have been posted to the Gaithersburg Book Festival website so visitors can read the entries and vote for their favorite. Fan favorite voting will close on Friday, May 13, at 11 p.m. ET.  Winners will be announced at the Festival, taking place May 21 at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm in Gaithersburg, Md.

Prizes for first-, second- & third-place winners are $250, $100 and $50, respectively. The fan favorite winner will receive $25.

“Once again, I am blown away by the talented young writers and poets in our region,” said Jud Ashman, founder of the Festival and Mayor of the City of Gaithersburg. “They have taken the themes of freedom, community and escape, and crafted phenomenal poetry. We are so proud to spotlight all of these budding artists at the Gaithersburg Book Festival.”

To be eligible for the poetry contest, students had to be enrolled in grades 9-12 at a public or private school, or be in a homeschool program, for the 2021-22 school year. Additionally, entrants had to reside in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia.

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