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TOWNSEND — April may be a fond memory this year, but the Townsend Public Library has managed to delay its final departure a few weeks longer, with a little help from the children of Townsend.

April was National Poetry Month and the library held its annual poetry contest in celebration, announcing the 14 winners late last week. The winning entries are currently on display inside the library and will remain there through the end of June.

According to children’s librarian Stacy Schuttler, in her first time as contest coordinator, there were only 26 entries across the five grade levels of the contest, with first-, second-, and third-place winners for each save the Grade 7-8 category which only had two prize winners because there were only two entries submitted.

“We’re hoping for more next year,” she said. “The younger children, grades one through four, and the high school kids brought in the most entries. I would love to see more middle school entries next year.”

The library began accepting entries on the first day of April, with a deadline of May 10 to turn in an entry. To provide inspiration, and a few tips and tricks, the library provided a number of poetry books for the youths to use. The entries were judged by local school teachers (one retired), and school librarians, many of whom encouraged their students to enter.

Grades 1-2: First place, “Springtime” by Allison French; Second, “Spring” by Jillian Hersey; Third, “Airheads” by Nicholas Bagley.

Grades 3-4: First, place, “Colors of Me” by Rory Benjamin; Second, “Little Birdie” by Sophia Massidda; Third, “My New Kitten” by Elise Johansen.

Grades 5-6: First place, “The Light” by Nathan French; Second, “Rain and War” by Madison Ozog; Third, “A Summer Cook Out” by Kathryn O’Friel.

Grades 7-8: First place, “My Stomach is at War” by Padrig Gosselin; Second, “Anger” by Brianna Drew.

Grades 9-12: First place, “On the Banks of the Brook” by Todd Curcury; Second, “A Light Most Perpetual” by Jennifer Shakshober; Third, “Whisper” by Anna Melillo.

There were no guidelines or required themes for the contest, so long as any submitted entry could be classified as a poem. Each of the four judges received all 26 entries and the winners were chosen through a consensus decision based on each judge’s recommendations.

A small cash reward will be presented to each winner: $15 for first, $10 for second, and $5 for third, awarded through the Friends of the Townsend Public Library. The winners have all been notified, but no prizes have been claimed yet, according to Schuttler.

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