Nonprofit promotes new high school rivalry: poetry

Athletic rivalry between the ‘Stangs, Kangs and Wolves is nothing new. Now students from Redmond, Lake Washington and Eastlake High Schools are facing off in a very different field -- the field of poetry. And there’s money at stake.

  • Monday, April 14, 2008 5:30pm
  • News
Rick Smith

Rick Smith

Athletic rivalry between the ‘Stangs, Kangs and Wolves is nothing new. Now students from Redmond, Lake Washington and Eastlake High Schools are facing off in a very different field — the field of poetry. And there’s money at stake.

To celebrate National Poetry Month and encourage creative writing by teens, the recently-formed New Poet’s Society invited students from these three high schools to submit two of their best, original poems to their English department heads by April 14.

A selection committee at each school, including teachers from across the curriculum, will choose poems to forward to the New Poet’s Society by April today. On April 20, prize winners will be announced at a 7 p.m. ceremony in the Cadle Theatre at Lake Washington High School.

The first place Judges’ Choice award winner will receive $1,200. The second place winner will receive $800. Third and fourth place winners will get $600 and $400, respectively.

It is hoped that students will use that money for college or other educational expenses, said Rick Smith, founder of the nonprofit New Poet’s Society.

A Redmond resident and former fire chief, Smith told RHS students, “I’m enjoying the greatest retirement of anyone I know,” including being an award-winning writer with the pen name of R.E. Smith.

Since April 2006, he’s had two books of poetry published. He won a silver medallion for the 2007 Bill Fisher Award (for best first book) at the PMA Benjamin Franklin Awards, announced in May 2007 at a ceremony in New York.

Fire and poetry may seem like strange bedfellows, yet Smith said his life as a firefighter had a direct bearing on what he now does for a living.

“A lot of what I saw and felt ended up in poetry. I like to study life and human emotions,” he explained. “If you like to write or read, those two elements can be applied to anything you do.”

Smith’s books “A Sweeter Understanding” and “The Window Ledge” are available at Soulfood Books in Redmond and at Parkplace Books in Kirkland. For information about Smith or the New Poet’s Society, e-mail rsmith2@hotmail.com.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

t
Kent teen charged with murder of teen during gun exchange

Two Renton teens also charged in September shooting in Kirkland

A South King Fire & Rescue firefighter places a used test swab into a secure COVID test vial on Nov. 18, 2020, at a Federal Way testing site. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Masks are still king in combating new COVID strains

A top UW doctor talks new strains, masks and when normal could return.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Democrats look to allow noncitizens to serve on school boards

A Senate bill takes aim at a state law requiring anyone seeking elected office to be a citizen.

file photo
Kirkland looking for non-police members to their police use-of-force review group

The investigative team is mandated by the Law Enforcement Training and Community Safety Act of 2019.

A CVS pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State health leader: We have a plan, we don’t have the supply

Two months after the COVID vaccine landed in Washington, many still struggle to secure their shots.

File photo
How the pandemic and coronavirus variants can show us evolution in real time

Scientists say viruses reproduce and mutate at higher rates, creating viral variants.

An Island Park Elementary teacher and her students hit the books on Feb. 8 in the Mercer Island School District. The single largest amount of Gov. Jay Inslee’s newly announce relief package, $668 million, will go to public elementary and secondary schools to prepare for reopening for some in-person learning and to address students’ learning loss. Courtesy photo
Inslee signs $2.2 billion COVID relief package

The federal funds will go to fight COVID, aid renters and reopen shuttered schools and businesses.

file photo
Three charged in Houghton Beach Park murder

Kirkland police arrested three males under 20-years-old in relation to shooting.

Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf, an ob-gyn with the University of Washington School of Medicine and senior author of the report (Photo Credit: University of Washington School of Medicine)
UW study shows high COVID infection rates among pregnant women

Study shows infection rates to be two to four times higher than expected among minority groups.

Most Read