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posted: 3/4/2010 12:01 AM

Barrington poetry contest winner also wins on the national level

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  • Alicia Parrish, right, with Jennifer Drinka, Barrington Area Library Youth Services librarian. Drinka coordinated the VOYA program for the library.

      Alicia Parrish, right, with Jennifer Drinka, Barrington Area Library Youth Services librarian. Drinka coordinated the VOYA program for the library.
    Courtesy Barrington Area Library

 

First she was selected along with three others by the Barrington Area Library to enter a national poetry contest sponsored by VOYA (Voices of Youth Advocates), but now Barrington resident Alicia Parrish has gone on to win in the national competition. She is one of five youth across the nation to have their poems selected as winning entries by VOYA.

Parrish's poem is entitled "Like That Itch You Can't Scratch." Her poem follows:

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Like the itch on your back that you can't reach

Like that strand of hair that just won't stay

Like that fish that just won't bite

They're like that song that you just can't get out of your head

Mosquitoes

When the air is moist and thick

And you feel as if you are breathing soup

That's when they strike

When the heat is unbearable

And your body is drained of energy to defend yourself

Against those pesky monsters

That's when they strike

But when the earth cools

The air thins

And all is calm

Bask in the peace

The quiet

Till the crickets

Come to play their music

Parrish said she chose mosquitoes for her topic because, "I wanted to write about something that everyone could relate to and also feel strongly about." She added, "I like writing about things that people can envision and I like using a lot of imagery."

The VOYA contest is the first time Parrish has entered a poetry contest, but writing poems is not new to her as she remembers writing her first poem in either the second or third grade.

Parrish doesn't have a favorite poet. " I like the free verse style for writing poems. I don't' really have a favorite poet, but for a style, I'd pick free verse." she said.

Parrish attends Barrington Middle School, Station Campus and is in the seventh grade. Her poem will be published in the April 2010 edition of VOYA's journal. VOYA was founded in 1978 to help librarians and educators who work with young adults. To learn more about VOYA, visit www.voya.com.

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