Winners of USC Sumter Spring Poetry Contest Announced
Sumter, SC (06/21/2021) — The University of South Carolina Sumter recently announced the winners of the 2021 USC Sumter Spring Poetry Contest. The competition saw 111 entries from Sumter County middle schools. The winners were announced during a virtual presentation which featured readings from the contest's finalists. Finalists for this year's competition included Emma Thode, Janiyah Nightengale, Olivia Mains, Ciara Hodge, Brayden Foster, Brarasia Ferrer, Kylah Farringer, Leontae Chestnut, Lydia Cheek, and Elyas Chatriwala.
The 2021 winners were:
1st Place - "Ode to a Jellyfish" by Elyas Chatriwala, 6th grader at Hillcrest Middle School
2nd Place - "You're Sonic the Hedgehog" by Brarasia Ferrer, 8th grader at Ebenezer Middle School
3rd Place - "12:00" by Emma Thode, 8th grader at Alice Drive Middle School
This was the 36th time that USC Sumter had organized the event. With direction from Dr. Michele Reese, USC Sumter Professor of English, students in her English 360 Creative Writing course brought the contest back to campus after a long hiatus. The college students participated as part of the class' community service project, which provided credit towards their Graduation with Leadership Distinction honors. The student committee was comprised of Meridyth Cales, Tyler Carraher, Julia Lanoue, Daniel Vega, and Sam Wachter. Their tasks included not only planning and marketing the competition but also securing prizes and judging the poems.
"I am particularly thankful that these middle school teachers took the time to solicit and submit poems from their students when they already had so many extra things to do because of the pandemic," said Dr. Reese. "It was also wonderful to have so many of them join us for the online reading to support the creativity of their students."
The mission of the USC Sumter Poetry Contest is to promote writing and reading in complex forms, provide a creative outlet for young poets, celebrate the talents of youth in our community, and lastly, honor the teachers and schools that support these poets.
The organizers would like to thank those that helped make the contest possible including Dr. Andrew Kunka, Dr. Ray McManus, the Division of Arts and Letters, Keith Britton, Vicki Singleton, Stacy Nance, Alethia Hummel, Julie McCoy, and the Sumter Partnership of the UofSC Educational Foundation.
USC Sumter is located in the heart of the state, about 45 miles east of the capital of Columbia, South Carolina. USC Sumter became a University campus in 1973 and today has an enrollment of about 1,300 per academic year. USC Sumter confers two-year associate's degrees and offers baccalaureate degree programs in business and education through USC Aiken. Palmetto College offers nineteen bachelors degrees that can be completed on the USC Sumter campus. To learn more, visit uscsumter.edu or call 803-775-8727.