Several Columbia County pupils were honored Friday at a Salute to Poetry Month event at Borders Bookstore sponsored by the Columbia County Literary Arts Guild and the Center for Primary Care.
The evening's theme was encouraging young people through poetry.
Barry Allison, manager of information systems for the Center for Primary Care, served as master of ceremonies for the event.
"Poetry creates an association between the writer and the reader," Allison said. "It touches a part of the heart that otherwise cannot be touched."
The event showcased the artistic talents of the local community as the night was divided into two parts. The Amateur Poet Showcase featured poets grouped into Young Poets or Emerging Poets. Both sets of poets were winners of a contest judged by the Center for Primary Care, according to published poet Lucinda Clark.
The young poets included Riverside Middle School student winners Richard Johnson, first place; Ree Fox, second place; and Devin McLead, third place. Evans and Lakeside high schools were represented with winning students Katie Powers, first place; Gregory Rodriquez, second place and Abby Zylla, third place.
Emerging poet winners included James Howe, first place; Jennie Smith, second place; and Nina Weser, third place. All poets in attendance read the poem that earned them a place in the contest.
The poets were chosen from 60 entries and awarded first-place prizes of $50, second-place prizes of $35 and third-place prizes of $25.
Dr. Robert Clark, the CEO for Center for Primary Care, presented the prizes to all winners.
After a brief intermission, featured poets Sharon Schroeder, Sylvia Ramsey, Dr. Ira E. Harrison and Lucinda Clark read from their respective collections.
Harrison said his passion is poetry.
Reading from his book, B.A.A.D (Beautiful African American Daughters), Harrison, who had replaced his dark hat with a colorful one, showed creative and humorous sides. "My poetry is like darts," Harrison said. "Sometimes I hit you, sometimes I miss you."
The Columbia County Literary Arts Guild will hold its next meeting on May 24 at Georgia Military College at 6 p.m.
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