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Middle and High School Winners

Through 2016 winners were not ranked by place

In some cases the same student is listed more than once. Because we use blind judging for these contests the judges have no idea they have awarded more than one place to the same student.


Selected Reader                        Poem Title                                School

2017 Judging by Prof. Rick Hilles of Vanderbilt University

First Place

Donovan Vu                                       Shelter                                             Pine View School


Second Place

Noah Bradford                                   The Poet Tree                                  Sarasota HS


Third Place

Donovan Vu                                       Có hiêu                                            Pine View School

Honorable Mention

Sophia Famiglio                                 Home                                              Booker Middle School

Roxy Gevas                                       Spring Magic                                   Booker Middle School

Colton T. Hammersla                         Somewhere Quiet                           George Jenkins HS 

Alexis Hess                                        Dangerous                                      George Jenkins HS

Ethan Lubow                                      Self Doubt                                       Booker Middle School

Raj Parmar                                         A Copper Colored Evening             Pine View School

Mathew Pitchford                                Alone Time                                     Pine View School

Amy Richey                                        She Vanished                                  George Jenkins HS

Augie Spieske                                    Transcend                                        Pine View School

Dane Vallrugo                                     Above the Sky                                 Pine View School

Donovan Vu                                        In Plain Sight                                   Pine View School


2016 Judging by MFA students at Vanderbilt University, directed by Prof. Rick Hilles

Noah Bradford                Dead Boy                                                Sarasota HS

Noah Bradford                Ghosts                                                    Sarasota HS

Jonathan Brenes            Acceptance                                             Sarasota Military Academy

Jonathan Brenes            A Marionette of the World                       Sarasota Military Academy

Kasey Ferace                 God Help the Girl                                    Booker MS

Mary Ashley Fulton        Cluttered Cities and Empty People         Out-of-Door Academy

Dominique Golder          Dictionary Love                                       Sarasota HS

Laura Gwilliam               Body Love                                               Sarasota Military Academy

Audrey Meyer                 Secret City                                              Home Schooled

LaNiya Smith                  Top of the Canyon                                   Booker MS


2015 Judging by MFA students at Vanderbilt University, directed by Prof. Rick Hilles


Jillian Alexander            My Grandma’s Abode                               Student Leadership Academy

Cailey Cantrell               Darling                                                      Sarasota Military Academy

Thaleia Daserg              A Mulberry Stained Summer                    Booker MS

Akila Davis Shaw           The Hidden Woods Defy Description       Booker MS

Jonathan Dreier             Ode to Motorsports                                  Student Leadership Academy

Jordan Febish                November Morning                                   Booker MS

Dominique Golder          I Walked with Wolves                               Booker MS

Zeban Kaiser                  Walls Made of Mirrors                              Booker MS

Sadie Lipman                 This Is the Life 7/31/14                             Sarasota Military Academy

Ava Plank                       The Unseen                                              Booker MS

Chandler Powell             Odd                                                           Booker High School

Payton Saturen              You Are More Than a Poem                      Booker MS

LaShaughn Waiters        Mission: Achieve Perfection                      Booker MS

Jamilah Walker               Sea Dragons                                             Booker MS

Meredith Worthley          After a short elevator ride up to the           Sarasota Military Academy

                                            top of the downtown parking garage                                    



2014 Judging by MFA students at Vanderbilt University, directed by Prof. Rick Hilles


Liam Antoszewski            Fire and Ice                                             Booker MS

Austin Benoit                    Brought to the Light                                Student Leadership Academy

Jeremy Brister                  August Moon                                           Booker MS

Kris Brzostek                    Mundane                                                 PineView

Grace Castilow                 Change                                                   Booker MS

Michael Clancy                 Midnight Sun                                           Booker MS

Akila Davis Shaw              Broken                                                    Booker MS

Jordan Febish                   My Willow                                               Booker MS

Alexandra Finnerty            Pieces                                                    Booker MS

MIkayla Freck                    Thankful Life                                           Student Leadership Academy

Jasmine Freeman              Lunar Identity                                         Booker MS

Ella Gerdes                        Memories of the Past                             Booker MS

Dominique Golder             Welcome to Florida                                 Booker MS

Alexandra Guelzow           Life’s Library                                            Sarasota Military Academy

Eleni Martin                       Organic Lullaby                                       Booker MS

Rose Milner                       Spiritual Guide                                        Booker MS

Chandni Patel                    The Poems I Have Not Written               Booker MS

Payton Saturen                  Dance                                                     Booker MS

Connor Swenson               Dichotomy                                              Booker MS           

Marc A. Valdovinas            Father                                                     Student Leadership Academy

Jamilah Walker                  Fibannaci                                                Booker MS

Meredith Worthley             Bricks                                                      Sarasota Military Academy           

2013 Judging by MFA students at Vanderbilt University, directed by Prof. Rick Hilles


Jasmine Banks                  The Race                                                North Port HS

Sarah Rose Brown             Wishes                                                   North Port HS

Courtney Cramer               Rainy Day Talks                                      North Port HS

Georgia Cross                    A Wild Flame                                          North Port HS

Alexandra Finnerty             Starry Night Pantoum                             Booker MS

Kevon Harvey                     Zapped                                                   Booker MS

Kiara Mitchell                      I Am                                                        Booker MS

Seth Morano                       Written in Stone                                      Booker MS

Asia Pollack                        I Am Not My Parents or Their Ways        Booker MS

Savonika J. Roth                 The Red Rain                                          North Port HS

Payton Saturen                   Red Wool Jacket                                     Booker MS

Peighton Zook                     Like a Baseball Through a Window        Booker MS

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