Voya’s Teen Poetry Contest 2013 Winners

VOYA – Voice of Youth Advocates received 106 submissions for their 2013 Teen Poetry Contest. While all 106 entrants deserve kudos for their accomplishments, 5 poets are this year’s winners. Here is one of the poems to win this year.

Why I Won’t Talk to You
You ask why I won’t talk to you
The answer is: I tried
The day you promised me you’d listen
(And really, you lied)

I told you of my greatest fears
The biggest problems in my way
The mistakes that worried me to tears
And nearly caused my mind to fray.

I hoped that you might comfort me
But gentle words were not your craft
Instead of saying something nice
You laughed.

You laughed like what I’d said was nothing
As if I’d told a joke
Is it any wonder, then,
That that’s the last we spoke?

You said my fears were nothing —
Only nonsense in my head —
And then began to tell me
What I should have thought instead.

How could you think that, after then,
I’d let you hold my trust?
For when I gave my soul to you
You dropped it in the dust.

Now I’ll never talk to you
Until you prove, beyond a doubt
The next time I confess my fears
You’ll really hear me out.

Erim Akpan, 18
Sponsored by Teen and Adult Services Librarian
Patricia A. Burke, Durham County Library, Duraham, NC

The other winning poems were:
Wind by Jamie Breyfogle, 14
Untitled by Allie Caselli, 15
Friday’s Child by Theo Velaise, 14
Black Gates by Sarah Mask, 13

Read further VOYA Volume 37, Number 1, April 2014, pages 16-17.

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