Nearly 40 Coastside poets ages 12 to 19 are featured in this year’s edition of “Moon Harvest/Cosecha de la Luna XV,” the anthology of poems entered in this year’s 15th annual Summer Teen Poetry Contest held by the Half Moon Bay Library.

The entries came from the area served by the local library and its Bookmobile — from Pescadero to the Midcoast — and were spotlighted in a poetry reading on Saturday.

Poems were submitted in both English and Spanish. The young writers’ poems in English were judged by local poets Jimi Baloian and Rosemary Ybarra-Garcia, and library patron and poetry lover Alison Weiss. Ybarra-Garcia also judged the entries in Spanish.

Funding for the cash awards was provided by the Friends of the Half Moon Bay Library. First-place winners received $75, second-place winners received $50 and Honorable Mentions and the Librarian’s Choice award winners received $25.

A contest sponsor for many years, the Friends of the Library also funds printing copies of the “Moon Harvest/Cosecha de la Luna” anthology.

Ybarra-Garcia gave the first prize for a poem in Spanish to Mario Ivan Garía, 19, of Half Moon Bay for “El Colibri,” which begins

“Vuela, vuela colibri.

Vuela hasta el cielo azul y lejano.

Y cuentale todas mis penas

Al creador de todo el mundo.”

She awarded second place for a poem in Spanish to Raven Chalif, 13, of Half Moon Bay for her poem “La Mañana Sin Nubes.

The First Place award for a poem in English went to Hannah Harwood, 17, of Pescadero, for “Manifest Destiny.” It begins with:

“I’ve seen dreams grow in mirrors

rampant like phoenix bursting pomegranate sunsets

flickering TV sets showing

wardrugsviolencerapefraudscandal and

celebrities …”

The Second Place award went to Lani Southern, 13, of Half Moon Bay, for “The Arrival of Spring.” Honorable Mention awards went to several students:

t Aneesha Gharpurey, 13, of Half Moon Bay, for “Where I’m From.”

t Annabella Lynch, 14, of Half Moon Bay, for “With Help.”

t Naji Othman, 18, of La Honda, for “Running Out of Light and Into the Dark.”

t Josh Morrell, 16, of La Honda, for “Dirt Bike Riding.”

t Maxwell Talbot, 17, of Pescadero, for “Haikus.”

Khalil Droubi, 14, won the Librarian’s Choice award with her poem “Ode to the Flames,” chosen by Reference Librarian Joe Toschik: It begins:

“Iridescent lights

Give hesitating flares

Angers rise and the wood it dies

Reds ascent, air is spent, phosphorescent glares

An ugly woman, it burns it bites but

Becomes attractive on long cold nights …”

Half Moon Bay Library’s Community Outreach Librarian Armando Ramirez praised the quality and outpouring of the poetry.

“The teens are once again very active in writing poetry,” he said. “The poems were very wonderful.”

He also praised the themes of the poems, which he said reflected a level of maturity beyond what he had noticed in last year’s contests, in which the poetry focused mostly on love. This year he said the poetry focused more on real events in the poets’ lives. “They were very mature, the poems, I thought,” he said.

Copies of “Moon Harvest/Cosecha de la Luna” were distributed to the contributing young poets and added to the library’s circulating collection, available for loan.

(1) comment

Greatest Paka
Greatest Paka

Bravo to Raven Chalif from her very proud grandparents. We were amazed by her poem entitled "La Manana sin Nubes" (The Cloudless Morning), written and delivered in Spanish. How one so young could compose such words; think such thoughts, and; put them all together in a foreign tongue with such deep understanding is absolutely astounding. She may have been second in the poetry contest but she will always be "first" with us.

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