Around this time last year, I told you about a dedicated first grade teacher to whom I attribute my love of poetry. I didn’t tell you about Oranges, the poem I wrote at the urging of a second grade teacher who convinced me I might be good at writing it. And then there was my eighth grade English teacher, who showed me the magic of memorizing my own work and performing it. There’s something about the things we fall in love with as children that have a way with staying us. Every day I am grateful that poetry is one of the things that has stayed with me.
The Alice Osbron Award is given to a poem of up to 36 lines, written by an adult, for children. These poems celebrate playful language, novelty, and suprise – they open the minds and hearts of the kiddos who read them.
The judge for this year’s contest is Olena Rose. She is an author and poet based in New York City. Her children’s book I Can Eat A Rainbow has been featured in programs for MyPlate, SNAP and EFNEP funded by the USDA. She is a North Carolina native. Her passion for writing began as a child when she was selected to write and deliver the opening speech for the Lake Norman Reginal Medical Center in 1999. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Marketing. Olena is the author of two collections of poetry and eight children’s books.
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t give you an inspiration poem from the esteemed Mr. Silverstein; and let me also encourage you to check out this Maya Angelou classic that started my journey toward spoken word. Admittedly, that one not so much for the kiddos of this contest…but a necessary read nonetheless.