Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hawthorne Returns for Poetry and Flash Fiction Reception

This year our reception speaker came from beyond the grave. You may remember we had Edgar Allan Poe here three years ago as guest speaker for the Teen Poetry Reception. The Teen Think Tank requested his return. We got the next best thing, a contemporary of Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts on July 4, 1804, and died at 60 years of age in May of 1864, while traveling with his good friend, ex-President Franklin Pierce. While Mr. Hawthorne never gave a public reading of his work, for this presentation the author himself returned to speak with us and read three of his short works. It was a fantastic evening! Thank you Mr. Hawthorne, and Rob Velella who portrayed him!

Each year the Teen Think Tank chooses the theme for the poetry contest. This year there were two themes: "Outer Space" and "Unexplored Territory." Themes are chosen from a list of themes suggested by attendees at the previous year's poetry reception.

The winners of 2018's poetry and flash contest contest are:

Chloe Bendoris, Best Poem Grades 6-8, for “People”
Sophie Bassom, Best Flash Fiction Grades 6-8, for “My Own Infinity”
Rory Haltmaier, Best Poem Grades 9-12, for “Painted Galaxy”
Lily Knudsen, Best Flash Fiction Grades 9-12, for “ Gladys and the Extraterestrial Nurse” 

Aeneas Strozier, 2nd Place Poem Grades 6-8, for “Unexplored Territory” 
Eliza Bassom, 2nd Place Flash Fiction Grades 6-8, “A Bed Pan To A Sun Tan”
Brandt Luce, 2nd Place Poem Grades 9-12, for “The Discovery of Flight”
Emma Sullivan, 2nd Place Flash Fiction Grades 9-12, for “The Upside Down Turtle” 

2nd Place Poem Grade 6-8
There were 170 entries this year: 152 were from middle school age entrants, 18 were from high school age entrants. 159 poems were entered, 11 flash fiction stories were entered.

A total of three poems or stories per entrant were allowed. Each poem or story was scored independently by three judges who were given copies of the poems without any information about name or age.The judges used a rubric to score each poem. The three scores were totaled to find the winning entries. Our judges this year were Library Director Jan
Best Flash Fiction Grades 9-12
Dempsey, Library Assistant Director Rob Pondelli, and Dan Sklar, English professor at Endicott College. Many thanks to our judges!

And, many thanks to the Friends of the Hamilton-Wenham Library who provided funds for the cash prizes, the guest speaker fee, and for refreshments. Most of our Library's teen advisory board, the Teen Think Tank, attended the reception. The TTT assisted with the raffle, announced the winning poems and stories, took photos, and cleaned up at the end of the evening. Thank you Teen Think Tank!