2022 Poetry Without Paper Award Ceremony Celebrating 20 years of Creativity

The Sawyer Free Library hosted the 2022 Poetry Without Paper Contest winners Thursday evening, June 9th.

Children’s Librarian Christy Rosso, PWP Winners Olivia Hogan Lopez, Kathleen Rowe Joyce, Jack Frishsen, Emma Wilt, Esme Sarrouf, Riley Cavanaugh, Aleena Brown and PWP Judge John Ronan

The award-winning students read their poetry to a standing-room-only crowd filled with friends and family and then recognized for their achievements. John Ronan, former Poet Laureate of Gloucester, and Christy Rosso, the Sawyer Free’s Children’s Librarian, presented the awards. Ronan, who serves as one of the contest judges and co-conceived the contest 20 years ago, stated, “I believe that there are probably future Nobel Poet Laureates among tonight’s winners. The caliber of creativity and writing this year was outstanding. We should be proud of all the students that participated.”

The Sawyer Free Library’s Poetry without Paper Contest has celebrated thousands of local students’ outstanding writing for the past 20 years while engaging the community’s youth in the art form and encouraging them to use poetry as a creative expression.  

Winners were chosen from each age group: high school, middle school, and elementary school. First-place winners in all categories received $150 Cape Ann gift certificates, second-place winners a $100 gift certificates, and third-place winners a $50 gift certificate with Honorable Mention awarded a poetry book. All winning poets receive a certificate and an invitation to appear on 1623 Studio’s production, The Writer’s Block with John Ronan.

The 2022 Winning Poets:

High School:      

First Place: “Tears of the Chrysanthemum” by Olivia Hogan-Lopez, GHS, 12th Grade

Middle School:    

First Place:   “Ascending like Icarus” by Emma Wilt, O’Maley, 8th Grade

Second Place:  “The Wrong Picture” by Esme Sarrouf, Homeschool, 8th Grad

Third Place:  “Cracked, but Never Broken” by Aleena Brown, O’Maley, 7th Grad

Honorable Mentions:  “The Owl” by Riley Cavanaugh, O’Maley, 7th Grade

“Where I’m From”, Emily Rattray, O’Maley, 7th Grade

Elementary School     

First Place:  “Magical Books”, Kathleen Rowe-Joyce, West Parish, 3rd Grade

Second Place: “Fifth Grade”, Gabriella McKearney, Plum Cove, 5th Grade

Third Place:  “Friends” by Elizabeth Olson, Beeman, 5th Grade

Honorable Mentions: “Lost” by Bianca Numerosi, Plum Cove, 4th Grade

“Gravity” by Jack Frithsen, West Parish, 2nd Grade

An Evening of Poetry at the Sawyer Free Library on Thursday, May 19th

Join us for an Evening of Poetry at the Sawyer Free Library on Thursday, May 19 from 6:00 – 7:00pm.

The Sawyer Free Library is partnering with The Bookstore of Gloucester to present a poetry reading with local poets Rebecca Hart Olander and Jennifer Martelli. The poets books will be available.

The event is free and open to the public. It will take place on the Main Floor of the Library located at 2 Dale Avenue. No reservations are needed. For more information visit sawyerfreelibrary.org or 978-325-5500.

at the Sawyer Free Library

Poetry Without Paper Contest Celebrates 20 Years at Sawyer Free Library!

Annual Young Poets Competition open to all Gloucester Students now through April 30th

Over the past 20 years, the Sawyer Free Library contest, Poetry without Paper, has celebrated thousands of local students’ outstanding writing while encouraging the community’s youth to use poetry as a means of creative expression. The annual contest is an opportunity for local school children of all ages to showcase their writing and creativity in a supportive environment and win top prizes. 

With the competition running throughout March and culminating on the last day of National Poetry Month, April 30, children and teens who live in Gloucester or attend Gloucester schools are encouraged to submit 1-3 original poems on any theme to the Library. Participants can choose to set their poems to video, images, and or music. Each poem may be no longer than 30 lines, be the student’s own work, and previously unpublished and submitted through the Library’s website. 

To mark the celebration of 20 years, Sawyer Free Library has made the Poetry without Paper prizes even more exciting. Winners will be chosen from each age group: high school, middle school, and elementary school. First-place winners in all categories receive $150 Cape Ann gift certificates, second-place winners receive $100 gift certificates, and third-place winners receive a $50 gift certificate with Honorable Mention awarded a poetry book. All winning poets receive a certificate, present their poems at a Spring awards ceremony and receive an invitation to appear on 1623 Studio’s production, The Writer’s Block with John Ronan. All winning work will also be published online by the Library.

The poems must be submitted through the Library website at SawyerFreeLibrary.org from March 1 – April 30. For questions, contact the Children’s Librarian at crosso@sawyerfreelibrary.org or SawyerFreeLibrary.org.

Sawyer Free Library’s “Poetry Without Paper” Contest taking submissions through April 30th

Each spring, hundreds of young students throughout Gloucester are inspired to express themselves through poetry and prose thanks to the annual Poetry Without Paper Contest sponsored by the Sawyer Free Library.

Organized by Sawyer Free Library‘s Children’s Librarian Christy Rosso and acclaimed poet and former Gloucester Poet Laureate John Ronan, the contest is an opportunity for local school children of all ages to showcase their writing and creativity in a supportive environment and win top prizes.

With the competition in full swing culminating on the last day of National Poetry Month, April 30, children and teens who live in Gloucester or attend Gloucester schools are encouraged to submit 1-3 original poems on any theme to the Library. Participants can choose to set their poems to video, images, and or music. Each poem may be no longer than 30 lines, be the student’s own work, and previously unpublished.

Winners will be chosen from each age group: high school, middle school, and elementary school. First-place winners in all categories receive $100 Cape Ann gift certificates, second-place winners received $50 gift certificate, and third-place winners receive a poetry book. All winning poets receive a certificate, present their poems at a Spring awards ceremony and receive an invitation to appear on 1623 Studio’s production, The Writer’s Block with John Ronan. All winning work will also be published online by the Library.

The poems must be submitted through the Library website at SawyerFreeLibrary.org by April 30. For questions, contact the Children’s Librarian at crosso@sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Sawyer Free Library's “Poetry without Paper” Marks its 18th Anniversary
2019 Poetry Without Paper Winners