Two Kamloops students have been recognized by the New York Times for their poetry skills.
Shreya Sharma and Gracie Dempsey, Grade 9 English honours students at Brocklehurst Middle School, were among 61 teenagers who had their works singled out from a pool of 2,500 submissions to the newspaper’s Blackout Poetry contest.
A blackout poem involves taking a black marker to existing text — such as in a newspaper — and blacking out words until a poem is formed by the remaining text.
The Times asked applicants to have fun playing with language, fiddle with different combinations to create new imagery and ideas and use illustrations, if desired, to enhance the meaning of the words.
A panel of six judges selected 25 poems as their favourites and another 36 poems as runners-up.
Shreya’s poem, A Piece of Music, was one of the winners, and Gracie’s Of Interest was chosen as a runner-up.
“We challenged teenagers to create blackout poetry from pages of the print New York Times and we told them to surprise us,” the Times said in explaining the contest. “They did.”
“Without the support and guidance of their teacher, none of this would have been possible,” said SD73 superintendent Alison Sidow in a press release.
Below is Shreya’s poem, A Piece of Music:
A Piece of Music
A piece of music
In part conveys
A new ground
A fresh wave
Strings of time
Knotty and gnarly
Compose that piece