Poetry in the High Schools

A note from MPC High School Anthology Coordinators, Erin Rodini & Lauren Howard 

The Marin Poetry Center is thrilled to announce the winners and honorable mentions of the 2021 High School Anthology Contest! This year, we opened our contest to Bay Area counties beyond Marin. Despite the challenges of distanced learning and the general uncertainty of these times, we received over 800 poems from students at 9 High Schools. Semifinalists were selected by a panel of experienced poets and our final judge, Lake County Poet Laureate Georgina Marie Guardado, reviewed them anonymously.

All of our initial screeners commented on the outstanding quality of the poems this year, and Georgina wanted us to convey “how impressive all of the submissions for this contest were and how much talent, creativity, and craft these students have. I hope all of these students continue writing poetry. They have such moving, powerful, unique voices. I respect that the content ranged from racial injustice to climate change to love to memory and so much more.” Without further ado, here are Georgina’s selections:


1 st Place: Numbers – Odessa Goldberg, Tamalpais High School
2 nd Place: Communicating With My Body – Artemis Frederick, Tamalpais High School
3 rd  Place:  Yesterday’s Red Plaid Flannel –  Talia Harrison, Urban School

From Georgina: “Craft and individuality were key but also content and the risk of bold truth telling made me choose these three poems as the top contenders.”

Honorable Mentions:  

For My Daughter – Shaleez Razavi, Marin Academy
13 Reasons Why I’m Not A Bubbly Perfect Girl –  Hayley Ballard, San Domenico
Sunday – Violet Monchick, Marin School of the Arts 
Ode to a Box Filled with Smaller Boxes – Adi Jolish, Urban School
Where I Am From – Dorian Grillet, Tamalpais High School
Quilt – Bodhi Dunkel Wilker, Tamalpais High School

From Georgina: “All of these submissions included important stories and wonderful writing. It was an honor to read them.”

56 additional poems have been selected for inclusion in the anthology, which will launched at our Awards Ceremony and Reading on May 25th at 7pm via Zoom. Register here. Order your copy here

Read poems from last year’s anthology:

Winners 2020

First Place                                                   Les Garçons Amoreaux by Cole Marrinson
Second Place                                              November: New York by Evelyn Bohn
Third Place                                                  32 Reasons Why I Love My Mom by Sydney West

Honorable Mention                                    Something Whispered by Saoirse Staples
Honorable Mention                                    One by Alexis Lanigan
Honorable Mention                                    All Connected by Dylan Marin
Honorable Mention                                    Bittersweet Symphony by Abigail Marciniak
Honorable Mention                                    How Capitalism Destroyed the Moon by Jewel Guerra         



MPC’s contest provides students professional review, selection, and publishing via our High School Poetry Anthology. Also, students selected for the anthology are invited to read their work at our Gala Award Ceremony in the spring of 2020 and receive a free anthology copy. For many students, inclusion in our anthology is their first experience writing and/or publishing a poem.  In the process, students tap into a special part of themselves and learn the power of their unique voice. Thank you for supporting the MPC High School Poetry Contest.

View Marin Poetry Center High School Poetry Contest Guidelines

Read poems from past anthologies:

Winners 2018

First Place, Clyde Childress Award         We The Same Color by Rudy Perez-Diaz
Second Place                                              Making Birch Paper with my Father by Elizabeth Wing
Third Place                                                  I Love to Write Poetry by Iona Normandi





Winners 2017

First Place                                                  Memoir by Benjamin Wall-Feng
Second Place                                             Native Tongues by Ashley Sanchez 
Third Place                                                 Dementia by Lily Kun






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