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Awards

June 03, 2007

One hundred and sixty-six poems penned by Washington County residents were entered in the Ninth Annual Poetry Contest sponsored by the Washington County Free Library. Ten were awarded top prizes and six poems were given honorable mention by the judges, who struggled with selecting the winning entries among a very strong field of poems.

Jeff Ridgeway, head of children's services at the library, has been coordinating the contest for the past nine years.

"It is a joy to read the poems every year," Ridgeway said. Every time we open an envelope addressed to 'poetry contest,' it is a surprise. Poems can be on any topic and in any style. The only limitation is that they can be no longer than a page in length. We receive funny poems, sad poems, romantic poems, and, once in a while, even some angry poems.

"We get poems written by classes of kids in schools, and poems written by solitary poets. Some of the poems are accompanied by original artwork. All are fascinating and wonderful to read," he said.

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A public reading of the winners' works was held at the Central Library in Hagerstown on May 16.

Winners and award recipients in the annual poetry contest sponsored by the Washington County Free Library included, front row, from left: Djuan Socks, Nathaniel Laye, Vincent Choen, Hazel Weschler, Anna Blazes and Iris Weschler; second row: Colleen Keely, Rachael Birky, Alexandra Scheller, Emma Sikes, Allison Everly and Shane Burket; back row: Emma Zahn, Gary Liberman and Rick Hartman.

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