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Winners of the “Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest”




Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest winners have been selected! The contest, conceived of by the Richmond Arts & Culture Commission (RACC) as a way to celebrate National Poetry Month, is in its fifth year.


Students from 14 elementary, middle, and high schools in Richmond submitted both haiku and short poems. Students submitted about 600 poems based on this year’s theme, Poetry in Motion.

<p>Recognizing that the world is in motion, always moving and changing, the young poets found motion in events, time, seasons, physical movements and activities, travel and music.

Poems were judged by an eight-member selection panel: Susan Antolin, Lincoln Bergman, Donte Clark, Brenda Quintanilla, Maryann Maslan, Susan Anderson, Steve Early, and Connie Van Guilder.

Three of judges – Quintanilla, Clark and Bergman – are Richmond Poets Laureate.

Antolin is a member of the Haiku Poets of Northern California; Early is a published writer; Van Guilder is a professor and Liberal Studies Chair at JFK University in Pleasant Hill; and Maslan and Anderson are both commissioners on the Richmond Arts & Culture Commission.


This year’s winners are:

Elementary Schools-

1st Prize: Anthony Alvarez, Washington Elementary

1st Prize: Ariella Benavides, Caliber Beta Academy

1st Prize: Clarissa Castro, Washington Elementary

1st Prize: Silvia Coca Cruz, Washington Elementary

2nd Prize: Amelie Banuelos, Washington Elementary

2nd Prize: Hannah Benavides, Washington Elementary

2nd Prize: Sania Kaleko, Wilson Elementary

2nd Prize: Citlali Mano, Washington Elementary

2nd Prize: Gloria Zearett, Washington Elementary

3rd Prize: Angel Abreau, Bayview Elementary

3rd Prize: Leah Ambernathy Saphon, Caliber Beta Academy

3rd Prize: Giselle Barragan, Washington Elementary

3rd Prize: Reiley Dillon, Washington Elementary

3rd Prize: Amitra Kellogg, Washington Elementary


Honorable Mention:

Alicia Acosta, Washington Elementary; Carlos Acosta, Washington Elementary; Mara Bravo, Coronado Elementary; Aaliyah Castillo, Washington Elementary; Rogelio Contreras, Washington Elementary; Selenah Corona DesSilva, Wilson Elementary; Gloria Diaz, Washington Elementary; Asia Jacobson, Coronado Elementary; Melvin Lopez, Jr., Coronado Elementary; Antonia Mason, Bayview Elementary; Parker Mina, Washington Elementary; Jacqueline Plascencia, Coronado Elementary; Maryanna Preciado, Coronado Elementary; Daniel Rodinson, Washington Elementary; Savannah Qualls, Washington Elementary; Daniel Rodinson, Washington Elementary; Kylie Alyssa Velazquez, Washington Elementary; Jimena Villarreal, Washington Elementary; and Tyrah Weems, Washington Elementary.


Middle Schools-

1st Prize: Teressa T. Bigbee, DeJean Middle

2nd Prize: Jade Synott Brandow, Fred Korematsu Middle

3rd Prize: Santiago Sixto, DeJean Middle


Honorable Mention:

Juan Zamara, DeJean Middle School.


High Schools-

1st Prize: Gabrielle Green, De Anza High

2nd Prize: Yaritza Gomez, De Anza High

3rd Prize: Angel Wiley, DeAnza High


Honorable Mention:

Eugene O. Gaines, III, Kennedy High; Jasmine Gill, DeAnza High; Chandandeep Kaur, De Anza High; Yajaira Sandoval, Kennedy High; Austin Williams, Kennedy High.



1st Prize: Teo Scura, LEAP.


The Award Ceremony will be held at 440 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond in City Council Chambers on Friday, April 17 at 6 p.m. All participants of the poetry contest will receive certificates of recognition from Mayor Tom Butt and a copy of the chapbook containing all of this year’s poetry entries.



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