Iron Horse Poetry, formerly known as the Woodhaven Poetry Society, sponsored a poetry contest at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Academy and honored the winners on Monday. All St. Thomas's students in grades 2–8 were assigned with writing a poem. Their teachers then chose the best five from each class to be entered into Iron Horse’s contest. The local poets who compose Iron Horse then selected the winners. On Monday, Iron Horse visited St. Thomas to award prizes to the winners. In front of classmates, teachers, parents, and St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Academy principal Mr. Joseph Carpenter, students received awards and congratulations from four Woodhaven poets.
Christine Barbour, a Woodhaven resident who founded the Woodhaven Poetry Society, enjoyed reading the contest submissions and meeting the winning students.
"This joining together of student-poets and our poets contributes to a vibrant poetry community in Woodhaven. It teaches children that poetry is an important and worthwhile form of artistic expression," Barbour said. "We are grateful to St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Academy for this opportunity, and to all the students who took the time to compose thoughtful poems."
Iron Horse hopes to sponsor the St. Thomas contest annually.
The Woodhaven Poetry Society was founded almost six years ago to provide a workshop and community for poets from the neighborhood and beyond. The organization’s recent renaming reflects its aspiration to reach a wider audience and to raise its profile. "The Iron Horse" is a nod to the trains and public transportation network that connects the boroughs.
The Iron Horse Poetry workshop provides respectful critiquing with peer reviews, encourages creative poetry writing, and offers monthly lesson plans that are used as prompts for the following month’s workshop. The organization is also in the process of collecting poems from the poets in the workshop which will be used in the publication of an Iron Horse Poetry Anthology to highlight its work over the past six years.
The students (holding certificates), left to right, are: Karen Paniagua, Troy Watson, Andrew Jadan, and Gabriella Agosto. The adults, left to right, are: Giedra Kregzdys, Mr. Joseph Carpenter (principal of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Academy), Christine Barbour, and Vicki Messina (in teal).
Iron Horse Poetry offers a two-hour free workshop every third Tuesday of the month from 6 p.m.–8 p.m. at the Avenue Diner (91-06 Jamaica Avenue, Woodhaven). All interested in the art and craft of poetry are welcome.
The recognized St. Thomas the Apostle student-poets are:
- Karen Paniagua (3rd grade) for “Flower”
- Hannah Daisamont (5th grade) for “Spring Fever”
- Yureidy Rodriguez (8th grade) for “Rose”
- Andrew Jadan (3rd grade) for “The Parrot”
- Troy Watson (4th grade) for “Yellow”
- Justin Lowtan (7th grade) for “My Family”
- Gabriella Agosto (2nd grade) for “Sweet”
- Giovanni Ramirez (5th grade) for “Evil Spring”
- Brianna Martinez (6th grade) for “My Life”
- David Lizano (6th grade) for "Haiku"
- Azaria Adams (7th grade) for (untitled poem)
- Gilliane Raz (8th grade) for "A Kiss for Every Moment"
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