2014 Illinois Emerging Writers Competition winners named

Online Staff Report

Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White (D) awarded poets from Harrisburg, Roselle and Chicago as this year’s winners of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award in the 10th annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition.

Whittney Jones, from Harrisburg, won first place with her poem “The Dollar Value of Fingers.” Jessica L. Walsh, from Roselle, won second place for her poem “The Library Again.” Pablo Otavalo, from Chicago, was the third-place winner for his poem “The Year of the Dragon.” The winners read their poems and received their awards from Secretary White and Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein, who succeeded Gwendolyn Brooks in that position, during a ceremony at the Illinois State Library.

I started the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition to promote creative writing and provide a unique opportunity for recognizing new literary talent in the state,” White said. “Illinois has a long and rich literary heritage, and these poets are adding to the tradition established by legendary Illinois poets like Gwendolyn Brooks. Great poems have the ability to enrich and enhance our lives, and I’m pleased to congratulate this year’s talented winners.”

The competition is named for the late Pulitzer Prize-winning Illinois Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks. It is co-sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book and Kevin Stein, who selected the final winners.

The winning poems are available to read at www.illinoiscenterforthebook.org. Also, the winning poems will be submitted for possible publication in Ninth Letter, RHINO and Quiddity magazines and Poetic License Press publications.

Posted Nov. 24, 2014

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