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Richmond Writes! Poetry Winners Set for Honors

Tasked with writing a poem about who they are from their own experience, students from throughout the District took up the challenge and are set for recognition as the 2019 Richmond Writes! Poetry contest winners.

Students from 13 elementary, middle, and high schools in the District wrote over 460 poems on this year's theme "You are the author of your own life. Write a poem about who you are from your own experience." From the pool of 460 poems, 47 students were recognized with awards ranging from first place to honorable mention.

The winners were honored at the Richmond Writes! Poetry Awards ceremony on Friday, April 12 in the Richmond City Council Chambers. Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia presented the awards.

First, second, and third place winners received cash gift cards and certificates; Honorable Mentions received certificates; and all students who submitted poetry to the contest received a copy of the 2019 Richmond Writes! Poetry Book containing all of the poems. Friends and families attended the ceremony where some of the students read their poetry.

The Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest is in its ninth year and was started by the Richmond Arts and Culture Commission as a way to celebrate the month of April as National Poetry Month. Hundreds of the District’s students have participated since the inception of the event.

Here is a complete list of this year’s winners:

2019 Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest Winners

The winners of the 2019 Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest are listed by judging teams:

Team: Rob Lipton & Steve Early

Elementary School

1st Place: "I Am Myself” by Ryan Grisso; Ellerhorst Elementary

2nd Place: “Just Because” by Jennifer Onyekwere; Sheldon Elementary

3rd Place: “Calvin” by Calvin Meeker; Ellerhorst Elementary

Honorable Mentions

“I am Ava” by Ava Garner; Ellerhorst Elementary School

“I am Smart and Shy” by Victoria Ames; Murphy Elementary

High School

1st Place: "The Chicken” by Gabriel Torres; Greenwood Academy

2nd Place: “Life Poet” by Leslie Trujillo; Greenwood Academy

3rd Place: “Bedtime” by Emiliano Perez Cortez; Greenwood Academy

Honorable Mention

“Sea Monster” by Jose Martinez; Greenwood Academy

Team: Terri Hinte & David Brehmer

Elementary School

1st Place: “I Am Poem” by Malik Sheriff Bakkali; Murphy Elementary

2nd Place: “Where I Come From” by Karl Redman; Sheldon Elementary

3rd Place: “Wish” by Niyari Campbell; Sheldon Elementary

Honorable Mentions

“Gone” by Natalie Guzman; Murphy Elementary

"#LIFEOFASTUDENT” by Nakai M. Moore; Sheldon Elementary

High School

1st Place: “Impossible Love” by Ezmeralda Tobar; Kennedy High

2nd Place: “Inner Thoughts” by Jocelyn Almendares; Kennedy High

3rd Place: “The Feeling of Love” by Yesenia Hernandez; Kennedy High

Honorable Mentions

“Untitled” by Dashayla Dokes; Kennedy High

“Sweet Tree” by Dulce Fuentes; Kennedy High

Team: Anne F. Walker & David Duer

Elementary School

1st Place: “Say Goodbye” by Zoya Rezania; Kensington Hilltop

2nd Place: “Anxiety” by Jess Pinkston; Olinda Elementary

3rd Place: “My Life” by Dy’ Lynn-Cymone LaFleur; Hanna Ranch Elementary

Honorable Mentions

“All About Me” by Seran Markarian; Kensington Hilltop Elementary

“What Would've Happened?” by Malana White; Sheldon Elementary

Middle School

1st Place: “The Girl of my World” by Clarissa Castro; Korematsu Middle School

Team: Consuelo Lara & Silvia Ledezma

Elementary School

1st Place: “The Wedding in Florida” by Henry O. White; Kensington Elementary

2nd Place: “Darkness” by Kimberly Garcia; Peres Elementary

3rd Place: “Life is Short” by Amy Williams; Kensington Elementary

Honorable Mentions

“Gemstones” by Beren Rich; Kensington Elementary

“I Am” by Jesus Cuevas; Peres Elementary

Team: Ciera-Jevae Gordon & Karin Fisher-Golton

Elementary School

1st Place: “Mama” by Max Krijanovski; Kensington Hilltop Elementary

2nd Place: “My Celestial Trip” by Elsa Boardman; Kensington Hilltop Elementary

3rd Place: “Reno” by Elsa Prendergast; Kensington Hilltop Elementary

Honorable Mentions

“Gone” by Cynthia Jehan; Valley View Elementary

“Passion” by Milo Shogren; Kensington Hilltop Elementary

Susan Antolin: – Haiku Poets of Northern California, newsletter editor and past president of the Haiku Poets of Northern California

Awards: Haiku Selected for Special Recognition from the Haiku Poets of Northern California

Elementary School

1st Place: “The Trees” by Cheyenne Lopez; Olinda Elementary

2nd Place: “Mexico” by Miriam Odyniec; Kensington Hilltop Elementary

3rd Place: “The Rainforest” by Alaysia Woodson; Olinda Elementary

Honorable Mentions

“Day at the Beach” by Ricardo Cisneros Gonzalez; Olinda Elementary

“Rain” by Dylan Rose McGarry; Kensington Hilltop Elementary

“Plants are Important” by Eien Laset; Olinda Elementary

High School

Honorable Mentions

“Pupusas” by Elias Perez; Greenwood Academy

“USA” by Abdul Obaid; Greenwood Academy

Arts & Culture Manager Awards

1st Place: “Untitled” by Gia Ivory; Kennedy High School

2nd Place: “Colors” by Kai Tananbaum; Kensington Elementary

3rd Place: “My Peers” by Cynthia Jehan; Valley View Elementary

Honorable Mentions

“Bio Poem” by Natalia Giddings; Murphy Elementary

“The Little Bird” by Mia Ramirez Victorino; Murphy Elementary