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Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.
— Robert Frost

Two Beacon College students channeled their inner bard in recently earning the top two spots in the fall semester installment of the school’s annual intramural “Poetry Writing Contest.”

Samantha “Lazarus” Humphreys
Samantha “Lazarus” Humphreys

Samantha Humphreys won the contest with her poem, “Water.” Shona Devlin was the runner-up with her piece, “Spectator.”

The biannual contest “encourages students to engage in self-expression that may otherwise go unnoticed and/or unrewarded,” said Richard A. Davidson, Jr., director of the Beacon College Writing Center. “Many incoming students become very excited when informed about this contest, and returning students who have submitted in the past find new ways to improve upon their craft.”

Shona Devlin, 17, from Overland Park, Ks., was attracted to the contest because with “poetry you can say what you want to say without people taking it seriously. You can express your feelings without others trying to lock you up or shame you for them.”

For more than a decade, the poetry contest has challenged students to channel into words the emotion Frost cites. The contests are staged both the fall and spring at Beacon, a nonprofit liberal arts school in Leesburg, Fla. and America’s first accredited baccalaureate school to educate primarily students with learning differences.

Shona Devlin
Shona Devlin

The fall installment didn’t limit poets to a particular style. Haiku, limerick, free verse, epic, pastoral, ballads, blank verse or whatever style suited authors was fair game. In all, 28 poets-at-heart submitted original works. Many mined a personal tone. Others proved more experimental or lyric, Davidson said.

Submission deadline was November 8.

For their winning submissions, Humphreys and Devlin snagged more than kudos. The winning entry earned a $50 Amazon gift card. Second place pocketed a $20 Amazon gift card.  Other aspiring bards can learn more about the rules and seasons for contest by visiting the writing center during normal hours of operation.

Click to read “Water.”

Click to read “Spectator.”