Richmond announces poetry contest winners


Winners have been announced for the 9th annual Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest, which celebrates National Poetry Month.

Over the years, hundreds of students in the West Contra Costa Unified School District have engaged in the contest, which was started by the Richmond Arts & Culture Commission (RACC).

This year, students from over 13 elementary, middle and high schools in Richmond and West County submitted over 460 haiku and short poems. This year’s theme: “You are the author of your own life. Write a poem about who you are from your own experience.”

See the full list of this year’s winners below.

An awards ceremony is slated for Friday, April 12 at 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza, with County Supervisor John Gioia giving out the awards.

First, second and third place winners will receive cash gift cards and certificates; honorable mentions will receive certificates; and all students who submitted poetry to the contest will receive a copy of the 2019 poetry book containing everyone’s poems.

The winners of the 2019 Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest are listed by judging teams:

Team: Rob Lipton & Steve Early

Elementary School:

1st Place:  “I Am Myself” by Ryan Grisso; Ellerhorst Elementary

2nd Place:  “Just Because” by Jennifer Onyekwere; Sheldon Elementary

3rd Place:  “Calvin” by Calvin Meeker; Ellerhorst Elementary

Honorable Mentions

“I am Ava” by Ava Garner; Ellerhorst Elementary School

“I am Smart and Shy” by Victoria Ames; Murphy Elementary

High School: 

1st Place:  “The Chicken” by Gabriel Torres; Greenwood Academy

2nd Place:  “Life Poet” by Leslie Trujillo; Greenwood Academy

3rd Place:  “Bedtime” by Emiliano Perez Cortez; Greenwood Academy

Honorable Mention

“Sea Monster” by Jose Martinez; Greenwood Academy

Team: Terri Hinte & David Brehmer

Elementary School:

1st Place:  “I Am Poem” by Malik Sheriff Bakkali; Murphy Elementary

2nd Place:  “Where I Come From” by Karl Redman; Sheldon Elementary

3rd Place:  “Wish” by Niyari Campbell; Sheldon Elementary

Honorable Mentions

“Gone” by Natalie Guzman; Murphy Elementary             

“#LIFEOFASTUDENT” by Nakai M. Moore; Sheldon Elementary

High School:

1st Place:  “Impossible Love” by Ezmeralda Tobar; Kennedy High

2nd Place:  “Inner Thoughts” by Jocelyn Almendares; Kennedy High

3rd Place:  “The Feeling of Love” by Yesenia Hernandez; Kennedy High           

Honorable Mentions

“Untitled” by Dashayla Dokes; Kennedy High            

“Sweet Tree” by Dulce Fuentes; Kennedy High

Team: Anne F. Walker & David Duer

Elementary School:

1st Place:  “Say Goodbye” by Zoya Rezania; Kensington Hilltop

2nd Place:  “Anxiety” by Jess Pinkston; Olinda Elementary

3rd Place: “My Life” by Dy’ Lynn-Cymone LaFleur; Hannah Ranch Elementary

Honorable Mentions

“All About Me” by Seran Markarian; Kensington Hilltop Elementary

“What Would’ve Happened?” by Malana White; Sheldon Elementary

Middle School:

1st Place: “The Girl of my World” by Clarissa Castro; Korematsu Middle School

Team: Consuelo Lara & Silvia Ledezma

Elementary School:

1st Place:  “The Wedding in Florida” by Henry O. White; Kensington Elementary   

2nd Place:  “Darkness” by Kimberly Garcia; Peres Elementary

3rd Place:  “Life is Short” by Amy Williams; Kensington Elementary

Honorable Mentions

“Gemstones” by Beren Rich; Kensington Elementary                      

“I Am” by Jesus Cuevas; Peres Elementary

Team: Ciera-Jevae Gordon & Karin Fisher-Golton

Elementary School:

1st Place:  “Mama” by Max Krijanovski; Kensington Hilltop Elementary

2nd Place: “My Celestial Trip” by Elsa Boardman; Kensington Hilltop Elementary

3rd Place:  “Reno” by Elsa Prendergast; Kensington Hilltop Elementary

Honorable Mentions:

“Gone” by Cynthia Jehan; Valley View Elementary

“Passion” by Milo Shogren; Kensington Hilltop Elementary

Susan Antolin: – Haiku Poets of Northern California, newsletter editor and past president of the Haiku Poets of Northern California

Awards: Haiku Selected for Special Recognition from the Haiku Poets of Northern California

Elementary School:

1st Place: “The Trees” by Cheyenne Lopez; Olinda Elementary

2nd Place:  “Mexico” by Miriam Odyniec; Kensington Hilltop Elementary

3rd Place:  “The Rainforest” by Alaysia Woodson; Olinda Elementary

Honorable Mentions:

“Day at the Beach” by Ricardo Cisneros Gonzalez; Olinda Elementary

“Rain” by Dylan Rose McGarry; Kensington Hilltop Elementary

“Plants are Important” by Eien Laset; Olinda Elementary

High School:

Honorable Mentions:

“Pupusas” by Elias Perez; Greenwood Academy

“USA” by Abdul Obaid; Greenwood Academy

Arts & Culture Manager Awards:

1st Place:  “Untitled” by Gia Ivory; Kennedy High School

2nd Place:  “Colors” by Kai Tananbaum; Kensington Elementary

3rd Place:  “My Peers” by Cynthia Jehan; Valley View Elementary

Honorable Mentions:

“Bio Poem” by Natalia Giddings; Murphy Elementary

“The Little Bird” by Mia Ramirez Victorino; Murphy Elementary