MSA-West poets place in writing contest

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

Two MSA-West poets took top honors in the eighth annual state student writing contest LAWRITES! sponsored by the Louisiana Writing Project recently.

Destinee Hamilton and Sidneisha Allen placed first and second respectively in the Eleven and Twelfth Grade Poetry Division.

Their poems were selected out of over 1000 entries from students across the state, according to Margaret Simon, Contest Director. The poetry judge was former Louisiana Poet Laureate Dr. Darrell Bourque, professor emeritus from University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The students were recognized during the awards ceremony in the State Museum during this year's recent Festival of the Book. The winning poems were written during poetry workshops led by guest artist Bonny McDonald and teacher Emily Weathers.

Hamilton's poem "drum beats" begins with the lines "momma tells me I shouldn't act/this way and daddy said being like this/a man will never stay but I say there's a thin line/between love and stupidity/that I chose not to cross over."

Allen's begins her poem "Bullet Poet" with "Bullet-borne language ringing/Ringing bullet language born on empty stages/Spiraling through Gutters/Cutting into wind with sharp whispers."

Poems were selected on the basis of their voice, originality, imagery, and insight.

In addition to a monetary prize, students received a medal and an anthology of winning pieces from this year's contest.