Generations of Guilford Poets: Poets Guild, GHS Celebrate National Poetry Month

In a day and age when text messages are replacing love letters (or any letters, for that matter), 500 Guilford High School (GHS) students spent a day focused on the ageless literary art form of poetry.

On April 23, the GHS English Department once again welcomed members of the Guilford Poets Guild into its classrooms, allowing local poets to read their work, in person, to student audiences.

"Poet's Day is held every April during National Poetry month," said GHS English teacher John Terenzi, the day's coordinator. "The Guilford Poets' Guild volunteers their time and prize money to the school."

To encourage budding poets, the Guild offers cash prizes, including a $100 first prize, in an annual contest that invites students to submit a poem for consideration prior to the day's event. Guild members judge all of the entries received, said Terenzi.

"This year, we had over 100 pages of poetry submitted for the poetry readings," he noted.

Also this year, the Guild offered an additional prize, the Gordy Whiteman Award, which was won by GHS student Sonya Zhou.

Whiteman is a well-known local poet. His published tomes of original works include many pieces that focus on Guilford, his hometown. Whiteman is also celebrating a special personal milestone in 2010, said Terenzi.

"The special award this year [is]) honoring Gordy's 80th birthday and his poetry, which celebrates life in Guilford," said Terenzi.

Among the Guild's other GHS student poet prize winners named on April 23 were Andy Gottlieb (first prize), Jacyln Treibel (second prize), and Emily Breeze (third prize).

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