Congratulations: Winners of the Jo-Anne Hirshfield Memorial Poetry Awards

The Evanston Public Library is pleased and proud to announce the winners of the 39th Annual Jo-Anne Hirshfield Memorial Poetry Awards. This is the 39th year for the competition.  The competition winners in the adult, high school, middle school, and elementary school categories will receive their awards at a ceremony on Sunday, April 23 at 2 pm in the Library’s Community Meeting Room. They will have the honor of reading their prize winning poetry along with this year’s contest judge, Susan E. Moss.

Winner of this year’s First Prize award in the adult category is Maureen Tolman Flannery of Evanston for her poem “Path to the School Bus.” Christopher Thomas of Evanston wins Second Prize for his poem “The Architect’s Dream,” and Gregory Curry, of Chicago, takes Third Prize for his poem, “Table for One.” Honorable Mentions in this category go to: Karen LeMaistre of Morton Grove for “One Year,”  and Sharon Lieberman of Evanston for “Ocean.”

Margaret Blackburn of Interlochen Arts Academy wins First Prize in the High School category for her poem “Seasonal Farmers’ Market.” Emily Cho, a student at North Shore Country Day School, wins Second Prize for the poem “Each Morning,” and Third Prize goes to Kara Jackson of Oak Park and River Forest High School for her work entitled, “litte red ride in hood.”  Honorable Mention: Leah Kindler of Oak Park and River Forest High School  for “The Job.”

Winners in the middle school category are: First Prize to Lily Shure of Haven Middle School for her poem “She Was Born.” Second Prize to Lucia Goldberg of Haven Middle School for her work entitled “2017,” and Third Prize is awarded to Safiya Blount of Nichols Middle School for her poem, “Why.” Honorable mention is awarded to Cherie Animashaun of Chute Middle School for “Unity” and to Carly Johnson of Haven Middle School for “Just Hold On.”

Winners in the elementary school category are: First Prize to Sommer Stone of Kingsley Elementary School for her poem “Beauty,” Second Prize to Perrine Tran of Orrington Elementary School for her poem “The Words,” and Third Prize to Jacob Bennett of Lincoln Elementary School for his poem, “Mountain Covered in Snow.” Honorable Mention: Naomi Alemayehu of Kingsley Elementary School for “We are All Different” and to Charlotte Hurst of Science and Arts Academy for the poem “Me.”

305 entries were submitted for this year’s competition.

Poetry judge Susan T. Moss is the author of two poetry books, Keep Moving ‘til The Music Stops(Lily Pool/Swamp Press) and In From The Dark (Antrim House). She is a former English teacher, currently serving a third term as president of Illinois State Poetry Society. She also serves as the vice-president of Poetry Club of Chicago and is a member of Poets and Patrons. Her work has appeared in several journals and anthologies including Caduceus, Vermont Literary Review, After Hours, Siftings From The Clearing, Seeding The Snow, Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, among others. She holds an M.A. in English from Middlebury College, Bread Loaf School of English and a B.A. in Teaching of English from University of Illinois

The awards ceremony is free and open to the public at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Avenue in downtown Evanston.  Refreshments will be served.


Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.