Teens show off their talents for, with verse in PoetrySlam

PORT ANGELES — With her poised delivery of her original poem “Have You Ever Thought?,” 15-year-old Lora Marie Rudzinski won the grand prize in the second annual PoetrySlam at the Port Angeles Library — a color Nook electronic book reader — and a lot of applause from the roomful of listeners Friday night.

“Have you ever thought what life would be like without passion? No motivation to strive for what lays out of reach,” the teen’s poem begins.

“Have you ever thought what life would be like without sympathy . . . without sadness . . . without love . . . without friends?”

The Port Angeles High School freshman was among 34 young entrants in the contest, which had categories for original poetry and recitation.

In the latter, Stevens Middle School student Grace Sanwand took first place with her recitation of a portion of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “Lady of Shalott,” while Jefferson Elementary student Autumn Sheldon took second with Steven Tyler’s “Make It, Don’t Break It.”

Owen Nevaril, also of Jefferson, won third place with “Rhinos Purple, Hippos Green,” while Stevens student Austin Phillips took fourth with Niall Janney’s poem “Cat Smile.”

Original category

Among the winners in the original category were 13-year-old Lily Brown, who took first place for a remembrance of her father, “Snuggle Bunny”; Leah Marsh, who won second for “To Peace”; Jeffery Mordecai-Smith, whose ode to a cheeseburger, “My Love for You,” won third place; and Katherine Bowes, whose “Live, Laugh, Love” took fourth place.

First-place winners took home Nook Touch e-book readers, while second- through fourth-place winners received Port Book and News gift certificates donated by store owners Alan and Cindy Turner.

The PoetrySlam, part of National Poetry Month in April, was financed by the Friends of the Port Angeles Library, which also will host a free poetry party Wednesday.

That 6:30 p.m. gathering at the library, 2210 S. Peabody St., will include live and online poetry readings, recommendations from staff and participants, and an opportunity to put pen to paper and compose a poem.

Attendees are invited to share their favorite poets and books, take part in a book swap and enjoy snacks and drinks.

For details about this and other free library activities, visit the North Olympic Library System website, www.NOLS.org, or phone 360-417-8500.

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Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

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