By Barbara Rowley

The Big Sky School District is holding its first ever student poetry competition. The top three poets will win cash prizes and have the opportunity to read their poems on stage at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center during the Poets’ Congress on Saturday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m.

In addition to the top three winners, who will receive $125, $75 and $50 for their entries, 12-20 other student poets will win the opportunity to show their poetry during the “Pictures and a Thousand Words” exhibition opening prior to the event.

Poems must be submitted by Monday, March 3 at 12 p.m. Winners will be chosen by Montana Poet Laureate Tami Haaland and Colorado Poet Laureate Dave Mason.

Here’s how you can get involved:

If you have a favorite poem that you’d like to submit, send it to contest coordinator Barbara Rowley at browley@3rivers.net. Make sure to include your name and grade, as well as a title for each poem you submit. Submissions are limited to three poems per student.

Many of your teachers will be allowing you time to write poetry and may increase their poetry units this week. They may submit your poetry for your entire class, or you may submit your own.

If you’ve never written a poem before, or don’t know where to start, your teacher will have a list of prompt words that tie to the photography exhibit being displayed that night. The Poetry Foundation is a great resource to browse all types of poetry for inspiration as is this link: creative-writing-now.com/how-to-write-poetry.html. Good luck!

“Prose: words in their best order; poetry: the best words in the best order.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“I would define poetry as the rhythmical creation of beauty.” – Edgar Allen Poe