Poets earn recognition in Crossroads Poetry Project contest

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – The literary talents of Alcorn County poets will be highlighted at weekly events to celebrate National Poetry Month in April.
Winners of the Crossroads Poetry Project contest will have the opportunity to present readings of their original works that earned them top honors.
“We’ll have a focus on different types of poetry at events throughout April, National Poetry Month, and we’re encouraging the winners to come to those events and read their poems,” said one of the event organizers, Donna Stockton.
The winners in seven categories are:
First and Second Grades: First place, Morgan Drewry; Second place, Alexis Riggs; Third place, Benjamin Williams; Honorable mention, Blake Knippers, Allison Greene and Rachel Hayes.
Third and Fourth Grades: First place, Julia Glidewell; Second place, Piper Bradshaw; Third place, Carter Crozier; Honorable mention, Rosley Smith, Carter Chandler, Alberto Hernandez, Landon Glidewell and Hannah Johnson.
Fifth and Sixth Grades: First place, Hannah Rogers; Second place, Abby Fields; Third place, Brooklyn Gann; Honorable mention, Katelyn Mathis, Brantley Nelms, Rhierra Taylor and Tamara Tyes.
Seventh and Eighth Grades: First place, Karen Bledsoe; Second place, Courtney Little; Third place, Kennisha Alexander; Honorable mention, Jennifer Southern, Dakota Pittman, Kamree Womack, Samantha Talley and Brian Bolin.
Ninth and 10th Grades: First place, Jake Williams; Second place, Philip Richardson; Third place, Ethan McCoy; Honorable mention, Stephen Youngblood, Amanda Wilbanks, Haley Barnes and Dakota Dooley.
11th and 12th Grades: First place, Essence Keith; Second place, Crystal Bolinger; Third place, Awzekeque “Zeke” Kelley; Honorable mention, Jonathan Taylor, Parks Frazier, Tiffany Trantham, David Wilbanks and Trevor Toomer.
Adults: First place, Bill Norris; Second place, Sue Michael; Third place, Anne Massey; Honorable mention, Cody Rogers, Joe V. Gurley, Anne Massey and Anne Brant.
This second year of the contest attracted more than 850 entries, compared with about 500 entries the first year.
The number may have been bolstered when contest organizers got an early start on planning last summer and organized three poetry writing workshops for anyone who wanted to learn to write poetry.
“I think one of the best things we did was Autry Davis, Cody Daniels and Milton Wallis went around to all the schools and read poetry to the children,” Stockton said. “Then Gina Wallace did a poetry program targeting fourth-graders in the school system, the time when they begin testing for poetry.”
They also held monthly poetry readings at several locations around Corinth to give poets a chance to share their works. The events also kept focus on poetry throughout the year leading up to the January submission deadline.
“Children in each school district in the county participated, and they could do up to three poems each,” Stockton said. “A good many of them did three poems, so that was encouraging.”