2010 Poetry Contest


Each April, in celebration of National Poetry Month, the Frederick Law Olmsted Society sponsors its Reflections on Riverside Student Poetry Contest. The contest, open to local elementary and junior high school students, challenges students to reflect upon Riverside’s natural areas and convey their impressions in poetic form.

This year, a record 88 students from six schools participated in the contest. Olmsted Society Board members made the rounds at year-end awards ceremonies, greeting the exuberant young poets with certificates and hearty congratulations.

A cash prize was awarded to each first place winner, and all of the following poets were treated to framed certificates and sizable chocolate bars iced with the Society’s trademark oak tree:

1st place: Fiona Bushe, The Nature Side of Riverside
2nd place: Grace Pekny, I am Nature

Blythe Park
1st place: Katie Lahart, Spring Wildlife
2nd place: Natalie Lisle, Swan Pond Haiku

1st place: Ben Lulich, In Riverside
2nd place: Skye Ozga, A Tour of Riverside
3rd place: Joseph Connelly, The Des Plaines River

1st place: Samantha Bitzer, Riverside

St. Mary
1st place: Kane Layng, Turtle Park in My Eyes

Jr. High
1st place: Peter Prybil-Pierdinock, The Open Spaces of Riverside
2nd place: Becky Warner, Tunnel of Trees
3rd place: Hannah Ranft, Home

Special honors to Becky Warner, Hannah Ranft, Ben Lulich and Joseph Connelly as stanzas from their poems were selected by the Riverside Public Library for a rain barrel gifted to the Brookfield Zoo’s new Great Bear Wilderness Area. All of the winning poems will be displayed on a rotating basis outside the Library this summer.

To celebrate the accomplishments of our young contest participants, all 88 poets and their families are invited to participate in a Reflections on Riverside Poetry Reading and Reception to be held at the Library on Thursday, July 15th at 7 p.m. Please register by phoning 442-6366.

All entries will be compiled in a professionally-bound book for the Riverside Public Library. Reflections on Riverside Volume I (2007-2009) is in, so check it out!

Previous winners can be found:

2009 Poetry Contest Winners

2008 Poetry Contest Winners