The Gaithersburg Book Festival, which was held virtually throughout May, today announced the winners of its annual high school poetry contest. Richard Montgomery High School senior Arushi Singh of Rockville took home first place for her poem, “Leaking Memories.” She received the top prize of $250, provided courtesy of Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County.
Open to high school students in public, private or homeschool programs across the Washington metropolitan area, this year’s contest asked participants to reflect on themes of isolation and community during COVID-19. The final 12 poems were judged by local poet Sandra Beasley.
“I was so impressed by the imagination, the formal dexterity, just the talent of the poems I had in front of me,” Beasley said in a recent press release.
The remaining awards and monetary prizes went to three other Montgomery County students. Potomac’s Caroline Dinh, another senior at Richard Montgomery High School, won second place for “Social Cues,” and Walter Johnson High School freshman Charlotte Lucas of Bethesda came in third for “Or.” Holly Keegan of Potomac, a junior at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, was voted Fan Favorite for her poem, “Rest.”
To read the 12 finalists’ poems and watch the video announcement of the contest winners, visit Gaithersburg Book Festival.