Athenaeum Club Announces Poetry Winner

Cathy Lander | Special for The Gazette

The winners of the Athenaeum Club poetry contest are, up front, Kayla Kroll, grade 7-8 division; and back row, left to right, Ariella Salmond, Jaisha Gibb and Madeline Tate, 9th-12th grade division.

COLFAX – A middle school student and three high school students won the Athenaeum Club awards last month for their poetry.

Kayla Kroll won the 7th/8th grade split. And Ariella Salmond, Jaisha Gibb and Madeline Tate won the 9th-12th division.

The Athenaeum Club hosted 57 junior and senior students in their poetry contest this year.

“We have a poetry contest in even years, and in odd years we have Art,” club member Linda Marler said, noting that the club is one of the oldest women’s clubs in the state.

It has hosted student competitions for over 30 years.

“The club has been around for over 100 years in Colfax and was organized in 1895 for women who wanted to experience the culture,” said pageant committee member Cathy Lander. “We were thrilled to have so many entries. It took us two days to review them.

“We are judging blind, so we don’t know which students wrote the poems.”

This competition meant a lot to the students who had the chance to express themselves and explore their artistic sides, she said.

Lander said she was moved by many of the poems and how they reflected the writers (once she learned who wrote it).

“One of the first place winners said she had never won an award in her life. For me as a teacher, that was special,” she said.

david gibb | Colfax High School

The Athenaeum Club honorable mention winners are, left to right, front row, Sydney Sisk, Candence Monson and Tyler Menke; and at the back, Tucker Senter, Seth Lustig and Casey Bittle.

In the high school division, first place went to Salmond, for his poem “He Abides In Me”.

Second place went to Gibb for his poem “Anxiety” and third to Tate for “My favorite color is pink”.

With such large numbers, the submission judges topped cash prizes and gift cards for the top 3 entries, and gave Subway or Zip gift cars to the six honorable mentions.

Those receiving honorable mentions are Sydney Sisk, Candence Monson, Tyler Menke, Tucker Senter, Seth Lustig and Casey Bittle.

On April 1, the students read their submissions for club members and guests at the Whitman County Library.

“It was an exceptional number of entries this year. Great job. The top six this year read their poetry to us,” Marler said, noting that the competition coincided with National Poetry Month.

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