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posted: 5/7/2012 6:00 AM

Palatine library announces poetry contest winners

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Submitted by Palatine Public Library District

In honor of National Poetry Month, the Palatine Public Library District sponsored its third annual poetry contest.

National Poetry Month is celebrated in April and was first established in 1996, by the Academy of American Poets ( It has grown into a nationwide movement uniting schools, booksellers, publishers, and literary organizations in a campaign to increase the visibility of poetry in popular culture.

Writers of all ages channeled their inner poet and submitted their best original piece for a chance to win the Nancy J. Heggem Poetry Award. Over 70 original works were submitted and entries are on display in the Main Library through May 15.

Winners were selected by professional judges and announced at a special ceremony April 28.

In the Youth category, Gretchen Coleman took top honors for her poem, "They Don't Know of Maine." Isaiah Sanderman earned the award in the Teen Category for his poem, "The Graveyard Train." The Adult award went to Sara Adams Stephens for her poem, "Absent." All three poets received certificates and merit-based cash prizes generously donated by local poet and contest judge, Nancy Heggem.

Following the ceremony, poets of all ages were invited to share their work during an open mic reading.

"We had a great turnout for this event," Amirante adds. "And the quality of work submitted in every category was just phenomenal. It was very inspiring to bring together so many talented individuals and hear them reading their own work in their own voice."

The Palatine Public Library District serves approximately 90,000 residents predominantly within the communities of Palatine and Hoffman Estates. The library district's mission is to encourage lifelong learning and enrichment through the exploration of books and other media and to provide services and materials that will promote a well-informed and literate community.