A total of 224 Whatcom County residents participated in the 13th annual Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest, with 25 individuals selected as winners, including seven people with ties to Bellingham Public Schools.

Walk Award winners include Madeleine Joyce Patterson, a student at Silver Beach Elementary, and Emma McCoy, a student at Squalicum High School. The ten Walk Award-winning poems will be displayed for a full year on the Sue Boynton Poetry Walk in front of the Bellingham Public Library, one of a few permanent poetry installations in the United States (pictured above).

Merit Awards winners include Karen Vande Bossche, a special education teacher at Shuksan Middle School; Jackie Lomas, Jacob Murphy, and Emma Thario, all students at Squalicum High School; and Ellie Osterloh, a student at Sehome High School.

Copies of each poem will be displayed for a year inside Whatcom Transportation Authority buses circulating throughout the county on placards designed by Angela Boyle, Megan Carroll, Christian Anne Smith, and Kim Wulfestieg.

The public is invited to honor the winners and to hear the poets read their entries at the contest’s awards ceremony on Thursday, May 17 at 7 p.m., at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal (355 Harris Ave). Bellingham poet Kevin Murphy will emcee, and the judges will present award certificates. The event is free.

A chapbook of poems from this year’s contest will be available for purchase, and all poems entered in this year’s contest will be on display at the ceremony.

Visit http://boyntonpoetrycontest.wordpress.com/ for more information.

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