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We’re happy to announce the winners of our 16th annual poetry contest. We received more than 75 entries this year, and the competition was fierce; especially within the teen category.

All of our local public middle and high schools, as well as many local private schools were represented. Seven judges, including several staff members, read through the poems to select the winners. We were most impressed by the poets’ bravery in expressing their emotions. Our final decisions did not come easy, but reading the poems was a delight.

Visit the 3rd floor of the Library to view all winning poems in both the adult and teen categories. Teen winners are also displayed in the Teen Underground on the Lower Level. Booklets with all of the winning poems are available free to the public, and can be picked up at either display.

Adult Winners

First Place – “you have oceans under your skin” by Leena Danawala

Second Place – “On the Road Eternal” by Timothy Spadoni

Third Place – “Cityscape” by Tom Gregg


Teen Winners

First Place – “Trash Talking Kids” by Cassia Lev-Smith (pictured above)

Second Place – “Wow” by Thea Gonzales

Third Place – “Without a Trace” by Bethany Cunningham

Honorable Mentions – “Journey” by Romeo Abregana, “Wet Paper” by Emi Kanda and “13″ by Melissa Eckert


Congratulations to all of our winners, and a huge thank you to everyone who submitted their work!


About Donna B

Hi! My main hangout in the Library is the Teen Underground, but you'll find me wandering all over the building. Originally from Northeast Iowa, I've lived in the Chicago area long enough that people don't tell me I sound like a character from "Fargo" anymore. I geek out on ginger ale and black licorice, Pottermore sorted me into Slytherin, and if I were a dog I'd be a shiba inu.

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