Contest judge Allison Funk teaches English and Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Her new book of poems is “Wonder Rooms.”Submitted photo

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Winners of the 37th Annual Jo-Anne Hirshfield Memorial Poetry Awards will have the honor of reading their prize-winning poetry along with this year’s contest judge Allison Funk. The competition winners in the adult, high school, middle school, and elementary school categories will receive their awards at a ceremony to be held at 2 p.m. on May 3 in the Evanston Library’s Community Meeting Room, 1703 Orrington Ave.

Genevieve Salazar of Evanston received first prize in the adult category “Dear City.” Wilda Morris of Bolingbrook received second prize for “Chicago as I know It” and Evanston resident Joseph Frenchere, third, “Who We Are, Where We’re From.” Susan Dickman and Keith Peterson received honorable mentions.

Anna Harvey of Evanston Township High School won first prize in the high school category for “Colombiana,” and Nora Foutty also of Evanston received an honorable mention.

The elementary and middle school categories were open only to Evanston school students. Maria Rosen of Bessie Rhodes Magnet School won first prize for “Killing Horse.” Maya Mahoney of Haven Middle School received second prize for “Window Reflection,” Emmacate Sauer of Nichols Middle School received third place for “The Void.” Honorable mentions were Bella Hubbard of Nichols Middle School for her poem “Papa” and Julia Bondi of Haven Middle School for “Redbud: A Map Poem.”

Winners in the elementary school category are first prize, Mirai Silva of Lincoln Elementary School for “Fish,” second prize, Nathan Shoenthal of Kingsley Elementary School for “Trees Tell It,” and third prize, Carlo Goldberg of Lincolnwood Elementary School for “My Turn at the Plate.” Honorable mentions are Cherie Animashaun of Oakton Elementary School for “They Are Coming Home” and Safiya Blount of Dewey Elementary School for “The Person Behind the Mask.”

There were 702 total entries to this year’s contest: 259 adult entries, 134 in the high school category, 154 from middle-schoolers and 155 in from elementary school students.

Local Poets Read at Library

The public is invited to celebrate National Poetry Month, when four talented local poets read from their latest collections. 

Joshua Corey will share his fourth book, “The Barrons,” Jim Reiss will read from his sixth collection “The Novel,” and Quraysh Ali Lansana and Christopher Stewart will read from their new joint volume “The Walmart Republic.” 

Copies of all three books will be available to purchase courtesy of Bookends & Beginnings. Everyone is welcome, but registration will help guarantee a seat: online at or 847-448-8620.