Poetry Writing Competition winners selected

Central Coast Council Library Service’s inaugural Poetry C Writing Competition winner, Shelley StockenCentral Coast Council Library Service’s inaugural Poetry C Writing Competition winner, Shelley Stocken

Central Coast Council has announced the winners of its Library Service’s first Poetry Writing Competition.

The competition is one of the many ways Council is delivering on the Community Strategic Plan by celebrating and continuing to create opportunities for inclusion where all people feel welcome and participate in community life. Council Acting Unit Manager, Libraries, Beth Burgess, said she was pleased with the positive response from the community and it was fantastic to see all ages getting involved. “I would like to thank everyone who was brave enough to submit an entry and tell their tale in verse,” Burgess said.

“I hope the competition acts as a springboard for our local talent to go on and gain recognition at a national and possibly internationally levels. “Thank you also to our judges, Meg GatlandVeness, Cherry Beckett and Marilyn Campbell, who have volunteered their time towards this worthwhile cause, helping to strengthen the sense of belonging in the community. “I am incredibly proud of the role we play in nurturing and inspiring our amazing local talent, while helping to create a sense of connection within the community.

“This is just one of the many ways our libraries help meet education, learning and recreation, while encouraging development of literacy and reading skills,” Burgess said. The competition was open to all ages and run in three sections; Junior, Youth and Adult. Finlay Smith took out the Junior section for her poem, Ocean Lady. Caitlyn Dixon took out the Youth section with her piece, How I Wish, and Shelley Stocken took out the Adult section with her poem, Vessel. Stocken said she discovered her love of poetry while at school and she was thrilled when she received the call saying she had received first place.

“Even though I studied poetry at university, I have never considered myself a poet,” Stocken said. “I have entered a few competitions in the past, but this is the first time I have ever placed, let alone won. “I’m surprised, but also incredibly proud of this achievement,” she continued. “My poem was a self-reflection of sorts, contemplating the theme of peace on an individual level, rather than a collective or worldwide concept.

“I really enjoyed the process of writing Vessel, contemplating peace of mind and being comfortable within myself and of my own choices, and I hope others can relate,” Stocken said. Winning entries will be on display on World Poetry Day, March 21, 2019.

Source: Media release, Dec 5 Central Coast Council Media

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