Library announces teen poetry contest winners

The winners of the Mercer Island Library’s teen poetry contest were announced April 30 at a poet’s cafe.

The contest was open to teens aged 12 through 19, and the library received more than 50 entries. The top 10 poets were invited to read their selections at the poet’s cafe.

Cynthia Hsu, an Islander who attends the University of Washington Center for Study of Capable Youth, took home the first place prize for her poem, “A Study of the Human Mind” (below).

Second place went to Gennie Gebhardt, and Audrey Col-Spector took third place. Other finalists rounding out the top 10 were: Drew Collier, Micah Larus-Stone, Allison Lange, Joel Azose, Nick Mahan , Patty Yao and Liz Borda.

A Study of the Human Mind
By Cynthia Hsu

A thin sheet of flimsy, gray newspaper
Slouched upon mahogany tabletop.
A lonesome word, Sudoku,
Sits next to a yellow number 2 pencil
Covered with
Little nibbles of an anxious human being.
Compact armies of numbers indolently march
Through the boxed rows
Filling them haphazardly.
A solitary “2” looks out from its lonely ranks
And white streaks on the gray
Tell of eraser marks
Where his companions once stood.
The scrimmage ensues

Between the pencil and the paper.

A yellow umbrella
Amidst a field of buttercups
With their glowing petals
And their fresh green stems
Stretching towards the sky
Lined with wispy clouds.
The umbrella, too,
Stretches its thin, spidery limbs
And brown checkered embroidery
Into the sun,
As the layers of dust
Drift into the air.

A sturdy, blue, plastic cup
Sits close to an old, black gas stove
Atop a kitchen counter
Dusted with a thin layer
Of cookie crumbs, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and sugar,
Amongst other specimens.
A droplet of water
Precariously balances on the cup’s slipper rim
Hesitant to fall.
A ray of sunlight slips through
The adjacent window,
Peaking about faded, musty, lace curtains,
Shining gently on the counter
And its inhabitants.
The droplet of water
gently slides down in to the cup’s embrace.

Reflections art contest state winners

Three Mercer Island School District students have been named PTA Washington State Reflections winners in the 2006-07 Reflections art contest. The theme for the 2006-07 contest was “My Favorite Place.” Christina Sun of Islander Middle School received a Award of Excellence in the Middle School Division for her original musical composition, “My Garden.” West Mercer Elementary Student, Sumedhaa-Pria Kothari, received an Award of Excellence, in the Intermediate Division for the original musical composition entitled “Playground.” Sierra Lorenzini, also of West Mercer Elementary, received an Award of Excellence in the Intermediate Division for film/video for her piece entitled, “My Favorite Place.”

Island organizations receive culture funding

4Culture, an organization dedicated to preservation of public art, has announced funding awarded to 282 King County institutions, four of the awards were given to Mercer Island organizations.

Awards for both the Cultural Facilities program and the Sustained Support program have been approved by the board of directors, and represent the highest number of awards in the program’s 17-year history.

Youth Theatre Northwest was awarded $7,000 to put towards an equipment request in the Arts Cultural Facilities category. Youth Theatre Northwest was also awarded $9,000 in the category for Arts Sustained Support.

The City of Mercer Island Arts Council was awarded $7,200 in the Arts Sustained Support category.

Wooden O Theatre Productions was awarded $3,000 in the Arts Sustained Support category.

Monies for 4Culture’s funding programs come from the portion of King County’s Lodging Tax revenue dedicated to culture. All applicants were reviewed through a peer review process.

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