Two students from Mile 108 Elementary are first-time published poets, after winning a spot in a national contest earlier this year.
Jasper Bird, 11 and Zoey Edwards, 12, were thrilled to receive a hard copy of the book, Fate and Fortune – A Collection of Poetry Written by Young Canadians – last month after previously learning their poems would be included.
“When the book came out, that was the cool part,” Jasper said, noting they also got their own bookmarks as part of the prize.
“I was really excited, I don’t usually win things like this,” Zoey said.
Zoey said she has had a keen interest in poetry for a few years, passed down from her great-grandmother who was an avid poet.
Her poem, Wear a Poppy, was inspired by Remembrance Day and tells of the importance of honouring soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for generations to come.
Jasper said he chose to write a poem inspired by the First World War, entitled Down in the Front, which relays some of the horrors faced by those fighting the battle on the front lines.
“It’s about how the soldiers fought and how the medics healed,” Jasper explained. “Since I like war, I thought I’d write about it.”
Participation in the annual contest – hosted by Polar Expressions Publishing – was optional for students, but Jasper and Zoey said that “quite a few” kids from their classes took part. Around 250 poems were selected from over a thousand entries from across the country.
“I think it’s neat that they did it on their own accord, that they took the initiative and did it themselves,” Jasper’s mom, Amanda, said.
Both budding poets agreed that having their work published was “very cool” and they plan to keep writing poetry in the future.