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Georgia Council for the Arts Announces 2021 Poet Laureate Winner, Finalists

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This week, Georgia’s Poet Laureate, Chelsea Rathburn, in collaboration with Georgia Council for the Arts, announced the winner and finalists of the eighth annual Poet Laureate’s Prize. The prize is awarded for an original poem written by a Georgia high school student. This annual program is designed to encourage students in grades nine through 12 to write original poems and engage in the art form of poetry. Students submitted poems during the 2020-2021 school year, and the school year noted below reflects the students’ grade levels at that time.

WINNER
Aanika Eragam
“When You Wish Upon a Star”
11th grade
Milton High School
Milton

FINALISTS
Josephine Almond
“A Letter to The Monster”
9th grade
Walton High School
Marietta

Katie Griffin
“That Field of Butterflies You Can’t Stop Thinking About”
11th grade
North Springs High School
Sandy Springs

Isabel Liu
“September Break”
9th grade
Wheeler High School
Marietta

Khayla Truitt
“The Familiar Sound of Black Grief”
10th grade
Rainey-McCullers School of the Arts
Columbus

“Each year as I read submissions to the Poet Laureate’s Prize, I’m amazed by the creativity, talent, and courage Georgia’s young writers display,” said Georgia Poet Laureate Chelsea Rathburn. “Poetry has a reputation for being a private art, but I see poems as invitations to connect with others and share in their experiences. It’s exciting to read so many wonderful poems and share in the experiences, concerns, and stories of young writers across the state, and I’m thrilled to help celebrate our winner and finalists through this award.”

Through a partnership with Atlanta Magazine, all winning and finalist poems are featured on its website. To read the poems, click here.

“Georgia Council for the Arts is always proud to partner with Georgia’s Poet Laureate and Atlanta Magazine to offer this opportunity for Georgia students and encourage self-expression and participation in the arts from a young age,” said Georgia Council for the Arts Executive Director Tina Lilly. “We thank all of the schools and applaud each of the students who participated in this opportunity. Congratulations to our winner and finalists on this achievement.”

All Georgia high school students are encouraged to participate in this annual competition. Details about the 2022 competition will be available on the Georgia Council for the Arts website in later fall 2021. The annual submission deadline is at the beginning of spring. Click here to learn more about the program.

About Georgia Council for the Arts
Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) is a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development whose mission is to cultivate the growth of vibrant, thriving Georgia communities through the arts. GCA provides grant funding, programs, and services statewide that support the vital arts industry, preserve the state’s cultural heritage, increase tourism, and nurture strong communities. Funding for Georgia Council for the Arts is provided by appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. www.gaarts.org

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