Craig-area students awarded as part of memorial contest |

Craig-area students awarded as part of memorial contest

Ben McCanna

Craig Middle School eighth-graders Laura Secules, left, and Aubrey Campbell were chosen as first-place winners in the Carol Jacobson Memorial Poetry Contest. Secules, Campbell and eight of their classmates will read their winning poems at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave.

Dawn Bolstad, an eighth-grade language-arts teacher, said young poets deserve a spotlight.

"Kids who are in sports get accolades," she said. "Kids who are poets kind of walk along the sidelines. Not too many people celebrate (poetry) in this area."

Soon, however, 10 eighth-grade poets from Craig Middle School will get their chance to shine. The Carol Jacobson Memorial Poetry Contest will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave.

The contest, now in its fifth year, was started by Craig residents Carol Jacobson and Caroline Dotson, and was originally named the Eighth-Grade Poetry Contest. After Jacobson died in July 2009, the contest was renamed in her honor.

Although the Tuesday event is billed as a contest, a panel of judges has already selected this year's winners. The winners will read their works during Tuesday's event.

Bolstad said the contest was introduced to students in the classroom as a "poet laureate assignment." The goal, she said, was to keep the poems light.

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"Instead of having all sorts of dismal topics, we decided to say, 'What do you want people to know from your point of view? If you were asked to speak at an inauguration, what do you think you would want to say?'"

Despite those guidelines, eighth-grader Aubrey Campbell's winning poem, "Divorce," explores family turmoil.

"I guess I kind of felt that people know about it (divorce), but they're afraid to talk about it," Campbell said. "So, it was something I wanted to write about."

Campbell said exploring her feelings was difficult, but ultimately rewarding.

"I had to think about it a little more than I would normally," she said. "It definitely helped putting it on paper."

Bolstad said writing about sunnier topics can be difficult.

"I think you always write from a place of euphoria or a place of pain, and with pain we have more to say," Bolstad said. "Usually when we're really happy, we're too busy to write it down."

Eighth-grader Laura Secules' poem, "Wild horses Run Free," was also selected as a winner.

Secules said she enjoyed the assignment.

"It's about letting your mind think about things and putting them into words," she said.

However, Secules is conflicted about the upcoming event.

"I don't really like reading in front of a whole bunch of people," she said.

The contest winners will receive cash prizes donated by the Northwest Colorado Chapter of Parrotheads.

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If you go

What: Carol Jacobson Memorial Poetry Contest for Craig Middle School Eighth Grade Students

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave.

— The event is free and open to the public.


Winners of the Carol Jacobson Memorial Poetry Contest for Craig Middle School eighth-grade students:

David Morris’ students:

• First place — Laura Secules, “Wild horses”

• Second place — Mia Gilette, “Optimism”

• Third place — Erin Parrot, “Cross Country”

• First honorable mention — Heather Wood, “Snow”

• Second honorable mention — Cori Blevins, “Whispers on the Beach”

Dawn Bolstad’s students:

• First place — Aubrey Campbell, “Divorce”

• Second place — Tiffany Lingo, “Click”

• Third place — Trenna Kaiser, “Parents Disappear”

• First honorable mention — David Wildermuth, “Football”

• Second honorable mention — Trey Norton, “TV”

1st-place poems

First-place poems in the Carol Jacobson Memorial Poetry Contest for Craig Middle School eighth-grade students.

The poems, along with eight others, will be read by their authors at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave.

Wild Horses Run Free

By Laura Secules

Wild horses run

through yellow pastel sunsets

along the canyon floor.

They prance through rivers,

glide under eagle’s shadows,

soar past canyon walls.

Grasses dance to

the beating of hooves.

Trees sing along,

like wind chimes

In a summer breeze.

Pounding hooves dissipate,

As wild horses

gallop into the sunrise.


By Aubrey Campbell

Cold white walls glare

through a thick wave of anger.

Sitting in a corner, watching.

Dad and Mom are screaming, yelling

with no end. Tears swirl

in a blizzard of emotions. And then

separation comes.

Isolated stares are common now.

My world is shaken

in a snow globe. Family has

a new meaning, and home is

the last place I want to be.

Two homes, two families

with new people. Two Christmases,

two birthdays.

Things will never be the same

And I’m caught in the middle.