Winners of USC Sumter Spring Poetry Contest Announced
Sumter, SC (05/24/2022) — The University of South Carolina Sumter recently announced the winners of the 2022 USC Sumter Spring Poetry Contest. This is the 37th time the university has sponsored the contest and this year's competition saw 108 entries. Students from Sumter County public and private middle and high schools sent in submissions with the support of their teachers.
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.
"I am truly passionate about poetry, and so, to connect with my students over something so deeply personal was a wonderful experience. I was thrilled to learn that the student judges from USC could not see the names or the schools of the poets; so, their final decisions were genuinely focused on the poetry itself," said Leah Kiernan, ELA Teacher at Thomas Sumter Academy.
The winners were announced during a presentation which featured readings from the contest's finalists. Finalists for this year's competition included middle schoolers Megan Reber, Alaina Anderson, Eva Halloran, Madi Nichols, and Kenji Stanton from Thomas Sumter Academy, Amirah Wright, Benjamin Nock, Sanaa Henriquez, and Gabrielle Garrison from Hillcrest Middle School.
High school finalists were Lillian Williamson from Sumter High School, Josie Jackson, Sara Hayes Ridgeway, Isabella Grudzinski, Mary Parish Williams, Kate Eichburg, Alex Jackson, and William Hardee from Wilson Hall, Allison Culick, Kelsey Martin, and Vera Fitzke from Thomas Sumter Academy.
The 2022 winners were:
1st Place - "I Am From" by Aliana Anderson
2nd Place - "Pristine Future" by Madi Nichols
3rd Place - "Rain" by Kenji Stanton
1st Place - "A Promise" by Kate Eichburg
2nd Place - "Tell Me, Show Me" by Lillian Williamson
3rd Place - "Music" by Isabella Grudzinski
Winners of the contest received a certificate, gift card to Books-A-Million, and a swag bag of USC Sumter merchandise.
The contest was organized by USC Sumter faculty members Vincent Frontero, Instructor of English, Dr. Ray McManus, Professor English and Director of Faculty, Curricula, and Courses for Dual Enrollment Programs in Lexington and Richland County, and Michele Reese, Professor of English.
"We were beyond excited by the number and the quality of entries, and I think this was a great opportunity for the community to come together once again," said Vincent Frontero.
The organizers would like to thank those that helped make the contest possible including the Division of Arts and Letters at USC Sumter, Keith Britton, Director of Admissions Services, Alethia Hummel, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, and the Sumter Partnership of the UofSC Educational Foundation.