Calling all High School Scribes! Bucks County Community College invites high schoolers in grades 9 through 12 to enter the 32nd Annual Poetry Contest. The winner will receive $300.

Students have until Friday, March 8 to submit three original poems. 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.

In addition to the prize money, the winner receives a proclamation from the Bucks County Commissioners, and 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, which each year attracts an overflow crowd.

Dr. Ethel Rackin, director of the Bucks County Poet Laureate Program, which runs the Bucks County High School Poet of the Year contest, offered this advice:

“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 Rackin, a professor of language and literature at Bucks. What’s more, participating in the public poetry reading may look impressive when applying to colleges. “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.”

Each participant must submit three original poems with a free entry form, which can be obtained from, from high school English teachers, or from the college’s Language & Literature Department at 215-968-8150. Entries must be postmarked by Friday, March 8 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

The contest will be judged by the current Bucks County Poet Laureate Carly Volpe and the 2017 poet laureate Katherine Hahn Falk.

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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