Carl Sandburg College has announced the winners of the 35th annual Carl Sandburg College Poetry Contest.

First through third place and honorable mentions were selected in four categories: elementary (grades 1-5), junior (grades 6-8), intermediate (grades 9-12) and adult. Award winners were invited to a banquet Nov. 3 in the Sandburg library.

Poetry contest winners (Carl Sandburg College)

A digital booklet with the text of this year’s award-winning poems, as well as a list of winners from recent years, is here.


Elementary Division

  • First place — “Flowers” by Anna Rozny
  • Second place — “The Magic of Opal” by Opal Ponce-Little
  • Third place — “Long Division Cinquain” by James Rozny
  • Honorable mention — “Love” by Maria Rose Ponce-Little
  • Honorable mention — “An Ode to My Cat” by Grayson Hannam

Junior Division

  • First place — “The Traveling Boy” by Erik Dockins
  • Second place — “The Never Ending Staircase” by Rylan Doyle
  • Third place — “I am More than Just Hair” by Lexie Anderson
  • Honorable mention — “Alaska” by Max J.T. Johnson
  • Honorable mention — “Nature” by Kylie McClellan

Intermediate Division

  • First place — “Clay Vessel” by Emma Racke
  • Second place — “In Between” by Katelynn Bredemeier
  • Third place — “Sold My Soul Waiting In Line At Hot Topic” by Madelyn Sackett
  • Honorable mention — “What do you mean it was fake?” by Alleah Rickard-Stone
  • Honorable mention — “One Door Opens” by Grace Manning

Adult Division

  • First place — “story left by a coffee cup in the wee hours of the morning” by Gary M. Armstrong
  • Second place — “Afternoon Heavy with the Closeness of Rain” by Brooks Carver
  • Third place — “Songs for Former Gifted Kids” by Melanie Delbridge
  • Honorable mention — “The Essence of You” by Dorothy Dobson
  • Honorable mention — “I am the Sky” by Amos Kipkemoi

To see more photos of the winners and the banquet, visit here.