2012 Poetry Gallery

Here are the winners and finalists for our 2012 contest!


On Writing

This year we’ve added a new section to our collection of winning poems, called “On Writing,” that features poems that are not directly related to the theme of our contest, “watersheds,” which admittedly, we have always interpreted rather broadly. In selecting “watersheds” as our theme in 1995, we sought a meaningful, scalable lens through which children and their teachers could observe the natural world. Our goal was (and is) to get kids’ imaginations working, to get them exploring the places they live, and to give them tools, practice and recognition for effectively expressing what they discover.

Because our poetry and anthologies are used extensively in classrooms—and by students on their own—as guides for how to write good poetry, over time we began receiving poems that reflected on the process of writing itself, often in ways we thought would be an inspiration to young writers. So, we started including a few of these poems on the craft of writing in our annual collections, to the delight of teachers and students. To make it clear, however, that our contest theme is still “watersheds,” we’ve decided from now on to give these wonderful offerings—“A poem isn’t a lion but rather the lion’s roar,”  “Words march like soldiers in armor.”—a separate showcase. Enjoy!