Calling all high school scribes!

Bucks County Community College invites creative young people to enter the 33rd annual Bucks County High School Poet of the Year contest. Students have until Friday, March 6 to submit three original poems for the chance to win $300.

The contest is open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors who live in Bucks County or attend a Bucks County high school. Home-schooled students may also enter. Previous winners are not eligible. The current Bucks County Poet Laureate Mary Jo LoBello Jerome and the 2018 poet laureate Carly Volpe will judge the contest.

The Prize

In addition to the prize money, the winner receives a proclamation from the Bucks County Commissioners. He/she will also have the opportunity to read at a reception on the college’s Newtown campus. The winning poems and one poem from each entrant will be published in an anthology, Writes of Passage, to be distributed at the reading. Runners-up and finalists in the contest will also be invited to read one poem at the public event. Each year, this event attracts an overflow crowd.

“Entering the High School Poet of the Year contest may give students a chance to discover and develop a talent they may not have realized they had,” said Dr. Ethel Rackin, director of the Bucks County Poet Laureate Program. Rackin is a language and literature professor at Bucks. What’s more, participating in the public poetry reading may help a student stand out in the college search. “Mentioning the contest, public reading, and anthology on college applications will demonstrate initiative, writing skills, and public speaking experience,” Rackin added. “Clearly, there’s a lot to gain from entering this contest.”

To Enter

Each participant must submit three original poems with a free entry form. The form can be obtained from, from high school English teachers, or from the college’s Language & Literature Department at 215-968-8150. Participants must have entries postmarked by Friday, March 6 or delivered by 4 p.m. that day to:

Bucks County High School Poet of the Year Contest
Department of Language and Literature, Grupp Hall 105
Bucks County Community College
275 Swamp Road
Newtown, PA 18940

To learn more about the Bucks County Poet High School Poet of the Year program, visit For more information, contact Dr. Ethel Rackin at [email protected].

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