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June 4, 2020


Contact: Donna Scott-Martin

Library Announces Winners of First Annual Poetry Contest

Awards Celebration on Saturday, June 6 at 2 pm

Largo, Maryland – The Prince George's County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) announces the winners of its First Annual Poetry Contest, which is made possible by the Friends of the Upper Marlboro Branch Library. The contest was open to all ages and Prince George’s County residents, and this year’s theme is “Summer/Vacation.” Poetry submissions were evaluated by a panel of PGCMLS staff and local poets in three categories: children, teens, and adults. The Library’s First Annual Poetry Awards and Celebration will take place as a virtual event this Saturday, June 6, 2-4 pm. The program will feature awards for the PGCMLS First Annual Poetry Contest winners with special appearances by Prince George's County Poet Laureate Sistah Joy Alford and poet Hiram Larew, a member of the Board of Library Trustees. Awardees are listed below by category.

PGCMLS Poetry Contest Winners

Poems by Children 2020

  • First Place: "Summer" by Naomi Wilson
  • Second Place: "Not a Predictable Summer" by Olaoluwa Oni
  • Third Place: "inside my hart" by Bryson Wood
  • Honorable Mention: "Beach in the Summer" by Alyssa Banford
  • Honorable Mention: "Summer in the Philippines" by Lauren Merillana

Poems by Teens 2020

  • First Place: "In Mayaguez" by Marissa Michel
  • Second Place: "Summer Too" by Cecilia Fenstermaker
  • Third Place: "staycation." by Noelle Gonzales Jackson
  • Honorable Mention: "Earth's Treasure" by Ramatulai Kanu
  • Honorable Mention: "Reminiscent Vision" by Mia Gonzales Jackson

Poems by Adults 2020

  • First Place: "Dog Days" by Will Staton
  • Second Place: "Our Summer Vacation: The Wilds of the Backyard" by Robert Jones
  • Third Place: "Getaway" by Warren Palmer II
  • Honorable Mention: "Summer in MD" by Taylore Willis
  • Honorable Mention: "Sandcastles in the Sky" by Scott Hommel
  • Honorable Mention: "Any Place But Home" by Samuel Jackson (5/8/20 version)

“The Library is thrilled with the success of the first annual poetry contest. We congratulate all of the winners and participants on their fantastic submissions,” said Nicholas Brown, PGCMLS Chief Operating Officer for Communication and Outreach. “We hope many community members will join the celebration on Saturday, June 6 at 2 pm.”

About Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) helps customers discover and define opportunities that shape their lives. The Library serves the 915,000+ residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland through 19 branch libraries, a 24/7 online library, and pop-up services throughout the community. PGCMLS is a responsive and trusted community-driven organization. Programs, services, and outreach activities serve booklovers, immigrants and refugees, job seekers, children, young professionals, seniors, and families alike. The Books from Birth and Ready 2 Read programs make the Library the primary source of early literacy education and Kindergarten readiness programs in the County.

PGCMLS’ robust online offerings include curated content collections for kids, teens, educators, Spanish speakers, and more. Special programs include the D.R.E.A.M. Lab, STEM Pals, and 3D printing, which offer teens and lifelong learners with opportunities to learn cutting-edge technology and STEM skills for job readiness or personal enrichment. The Library’s Laurel Branch Library received the 2018 AIA/ALA Library Building Award and was designated the best new public building in Maryland.