On Saturday, eight Clatskanie students shared their prize-winning poetry verses with parents, community members, and literary enthusiasts at the Raymond Carver Writing Festival.
In honor of April’s National Poetry Month, young people ages 8-18 were invited by the Clatskanie Public Library and the Clatskanie Arts Commission to submit poems around a line of a Raymond Carver poem “I will take all the time I please this afternoon before leaving my place alongside this river.”
First and second place winners were honored in the Birkenfeld Theater during the Festival, Clatskanie Arts Commission’s Elsa Wooley told The Chief. After reading their poems in front of an audience, they received certificates and cash prizes. Winners, selected from four different age brackets, were as follows:
First place: Merryn Craig – Home Schooled
Second place: Naomi Spellman – Piercing Arrow Private School
First place: Ethan Alvarado – Piercing Arrow Private School
Second place: Jasper Watson – Piercing Arrow Private School
First place: Chloe May – Clatskanie Mid/High School
Second place: Joey Sizemore – Clatskanie Mid/High School
First place: Cetari White-Anderson – Frontier Charter Academy
Second place: Abigail Garcia – Clatskanie Mid/High School
Winners of the Poetry Contest were selected from 43 submissions and informed by judges Friday, May 13, Clatskanie Library Director Maryanne Hirning told The Chief.
On Friday, May 20, Mayor Bob Brajcich declared the week of May 20-25 Raymond Carver Week in honor of the world-renowned poet and short story author who was born in Clatskanie on May 25, 1938.
This proclamation kicked off a weekend of activities, including the revival of the Raymond Carver Writing Festival, an event that began in 2007 and was held annually until its hiatus in 2012.
Festival activities began with a reception on Friday evening, May 20, with workshops, a walking tour of Clatskanie and a free screening of the Carver-inspired film “Birdman” on Saturday, May 21.
A mural depicting a larger-than-life Raymond Carver was also scheduled to be unveiled at the Writing Festival.
The idea for the mural was inspired by Seaside resident Dylan Eckland’s winning submission to an RFP issued by Clatskanie artist Jeremy Furnish.
Work on the mural is currently being finished the old hospital building on North Nehalem St. in downtown Clatskanie, where Raymond Carver was born.
Follow this developing story at thechiefnews.com and in Friday print editions of The Chief.