The First Student Poet Laureate Contest Coming to Skagit County


Anna Ferdinand

Poet Jefferey Morgan visits a tenth grade classroom to share the art of poetry. He teaches through the Skagit River Poetry Foundation’s Poets in the Schools program.

Over the last twenty-two years, Skagit River Poetry Foundation has been dedicated to the enrichment of classrooms through poetry, but this year the program is introducing something entirely new; the first ever contest for the position of student poet Laureate.
This contest is open to all high school students from school districts of La Conner Sedro-Woolley and Mount Vernon, and would offer one student from each district the chance to share their poetry as well as to help plan local events and bring their own insight and speak on behalf of their district and community.
In order to apply, those interested must fill out an application that includes three original poems as well as one from a poet that they admire or draw inspiration from. The Application due date is February 29, and prompts students to delve into issues such as the meaning of community, poetry, and the impact of writing on their lives, something that local teacher and Poet In Residence Jeffrey Morgan said he sees often in the classrooms he visits.
“Poetry is a space where students can have an entirely different relationship to language,” said Morgan.
Morgan encourages students to experiment with poetry regardless of experience, explaining “With Poetry, you don’t have to know anything other than what you already know,” he says.
“It’s not something to be afraid of, or to feel like you are doing wrong…You can find a voice that sounds like yours, and [that can] inspire you to contribute your own voice to a conversation that should include you.”