Poetry contest

May 22, 2000

Winners of the 2000 Washington County Poetry ContestAdult division

Sarah Burzawa Knoll, "Grinder Fragment"

Rob Rock, "When We Move from the City"

Karla Davis, "Heredity" (honorable mention)

Grades nine to 12

Jesse Stanchak, "Running Scared, Writing Tired"

Ashley C. Haywood, "The Truths and Consequences of Honest Thought"

Grades six to eight

Tim Bossler, "Football"

Garman L. Bowers III, "Antietam"

Krystle Shoate, "I Hate You" (honorable mention)

Grades four and five

Christie Beachley, "An Ode to a Snowflake"

Meagan Graff, "At Night When I Lay in My Bed"


Kimberly Horschner, "Spring" (honorable mention)

Grades two and three

Colleen Black, "The Delight Song of Colleen Black"

Arielle Black, "My Cat"

Cara Mae Wagaman, "My Cat" (honorable mention)

The winning poems will be on display at Washington County Free Library through May.By KERRY LYNN FRALEY / Staff Writer

Ashley C. Haywood writes a lot of poetry. But it's usually in the form of lyrics for the music she writes.

cont. from lifestyle

Haywood, a freshman at St. Maria Goretti High School in Hagerstown, said she penned the poem "The Truths and Consequences of Honest Thought" to enter in the 2000 Washington County Poetry Contest at her mother's suggestion.

"This was kind of a new experience for me," said Haywood, 15, one of two winners in the contest's ninth through 12th grade category.

Being in front of an audience obviously wasn't new to Haywood, who seemed completely at ease reciting her winning poem in front of the roughly 75 people who crowded into the Washington County Arts Council Gallery in Hagerstown on Friday.

All 10 winners and four honorable mention recipients were invited to read their winning works at a reception honoring them.

All but one of them, Jesse Stanchak, obliged, sharing poems on a smorgasbord of subjects, including cats, snow, football, the Battle of Antietam, domestic violence and archeology.

Stanchak came in after his poem was read by Antietam Review editor Ethan Fischer. He said he had a mix-up about the event's time and was sorry he missed the opportunity to read his work.

Stanchak, 17, won with a poem titled "Running Scared, Writing Tired," inspired, he said, by a long, late night of writing.

A junior at St. James School and co-editor of its literary newsletter, "The Syrinx," Stanchak said he writes a lot of poetry but plans to turn his writing talent to journalism as a career.

The contest, in its third year, was open to Washington County residents only.

There were five categories: second and third grade, fourth and fifth grade, sixth through eighth grade, ninth through 12th grade and adult.

Winners received poetry books chosen by Jeff Ridgeway, a children's librarian at Washington County Free Library. It was Ridgeway's idea to start the contest, which is sponsored by the library and Antietam Review.

Honorable mention recipients were given certificates.

The winners were a mix of hard-core, some-time and first-time poets.

Meagan Graff, 9, a fourth-grader at Potomac Heights Elementary, said she doesn't normally write poetry but conjured the winning "At Night When I Lay in My Bed" specifically for the contest.

Arielle Black, 8, a home-schooled second-grader, said she sometimes writes poetry because it's fun. Her cat, Whispurr, was the inspiration for her loving poem, "My Cat."

Colleen Black, 7, of Smithsburg, was the other winner in that category with "The Delight Song of Colleen Black."

Garman L. Bowers III, 11, a sixth-grader at Springfield Middle School, said his poetic history lesson, "Antietam," is part of a series of five poems he wrote titled "Civil War Experience."

The poem was written for a school assignment, he said.

"It actually turned out a lot better than I thought it would, so that's why I entered it," said Bowers, who said the Civil War is a big interest of his and poetry is "kind of an interest."

Tim Bossler, 13, an eighth-grader at Springfield Middle School, also wrote his winning poem, "Football" for school, then entered it in an online poetry contest.

After he won something in that contest, he saw an ad for the local contest and decided to submit his poem.

Based on his first-time-out success, Bossler said he thinks he'll write some more poetry.

Christie Beachley, 11, a fifth-grader at Pangborn Elementary, said she writes a little poetry on her own but wrote the winning "An Ode to a Snowflake" for school.

The theme was inspired by the season. "Because it was November, and I really wanted the snow," she said.

Adult category winner Rob Rock, 39, of Leitersburg, said poetry is a hobby of his. He penned a winner for the contest two years ago.

Rock said he wrote this year's winner, "When We Move from the City," about eight years ago.

Adult category winner Sarah Burzawa Knoll, 32, of Hagerstown, said she writes poetry but never before entered it in a contest.

She said her poem, "Grinder Fragment," was inspired by an archeological dig she went on in Jordan in summer 1998.

Honorable mentions went to: Cara Mae Wagaman, for "My Cat," in the second- and third-grade category; Kimberley Horshner(sp?), for "Spring," in the fourth- and fifth-grade category; Krystle Shoate, for "I Hate You," in the sixth- through eighth-grade category; and Karla Davis, for "Heredity," in the adult category.

Winning poems will be on display at Washington County Free Library through May.

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