Greenwich Education Group and Arch Street Teen Center announce 2015 poetry contest winners

Greenwich Education Group (GEG) and The Arch Street Teen Center have announced the winners of the 2nd annual Poetry Contest in celebration of National Poetry Month.

The first place winner was Ainsley Buck, a Greenwich Academy freshman, for her poem Broken Glass.

The panel of judges included Melissa Brown Macchio, a Greenwich High School English teacher and 2013 Greenwich Distinguished Teacher; Carolyn Patten, English Department chair at King Low Heywood School; and James Novoa, a GEG English tutor.

Patten called the winning entry “quite sophisticated, specifically her use of enjambment [which] eagerly pulls the reader through the poem, moving from short stanza to short stanza. Buck’s use of figurative language, specifically the tactile imagery, invites the reader into the poem and allows one to feel the sand.”

The winning entry was also praised by Patten for the “word choices, specifically the verbs, [which] are precise without being pretentious or hard to understand. Moreover the similes that she creates around the glass work beautifully.”

The Second Place winner was King Low Heywood senior Grace Linnan for Elephant in the Room. Judge Melissa Brown remarked that the poem’s “complexity was masked by its playful rhythm and the title’s seemingly overused phrase. However, the poet maintains control over the sound, order and choice of the words and gives what could have come off as cliché new and exciting meaning. The poem has an angry tone that is contradicted by the rhyme and it almost seems like it should be a rap. It would be interesting to see it performed.”

The Third Place winner was Katherine Du, a sophomore attending Greenwich Academy, for Cardboard Memory, which Novoa called “a tragically beautiful foray into longing and its inescapable lull. It reads like those Instagram poems that can only be crafted through true sorrow and experience in darkness. I leap with joy at what else this poet can come up with!”

The panel of judges also awarded Honorable Mentions to Eve, which was submitted by Sydney Heath, Greenwich Academy 9th grader, and Heed Polaris by Claudia Kania, a freshman at Reavis High School in Burbank, Illinois.

The poetry contest sought out emerging poets in grades 9-12 and asked them to submit their creative expressions. Poems were judged for originality, creativity and artistic quality. Poems were received from students in Fairfield, Westchester and Putnam Counties and even as far as Pennsylvania, Mississippi and Illinois.

“We were so pleased so see the wide variety of topics and poetic styles in the submissions,” explained Kate Guthrie, director of GEG’s Academic Services. “The quality and sophistication of the poems was simply stunning, which made the selection process a daunting one. What better way to celebrate Poetry Month than to experience the incredible talents of these students.”

The winning poems will be read by their writers at Arch Street’s newly opened Greenwich Grind Coffee Shop in the fall. Kyle Silver, executive director of Arch Street remarked “having these incredibly young artists share their poetry with us will make it a truly remarkable evening. We look forward to celebrating their achievements while being inspired by their ability to use language to create images and emotions. It will be a new take on the historically great combination of coffee shop and poetry reading.”

The 2015 and 2014 winning entries are posted on the Greenwich Education Group website under Academic Services/Poetry Contest.

Greenwich Education Group has proudly partnered with Arch Street Greenwich Teen Center in sponsoring this year’s contest. Arch Street is a drug- and alcohol-free center offering programs for 6th through 12th graders, as well as special speaker events for Greenwich’s parent community.

For more information, official contest rules and to enter the contest, please visit

About Greenwich Education Group

Greenwich Education Group is a multi-division organization focusing on every facet of a child’s academic development and success. Our divisions include academic tutoring – in-home and at the center, standardized test preparation, education consulting, specialized learning services, transition programs and three accredited schools which focus on the special needs of their student populations: Beacon, Pinnacle, and the Spire School. Our curricula and teaching methods are as varied as our student body. Our philosophy of individualized instruction targets each student’s strengths and needs. Learn more about our programs at

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