PATERSON, NJ - Saying that  “engaging children through poetry allows them to discuss topics that are important to them, allows them a social-emotional expression, provokes critical thinking and encourages high level communication and collaborative discussions,” Talena Lachelle Queen, the city’s Poet Laureate, and organizer of the Paterson Poetry Festival, has announced the winners of the inaugural Paterson Poetry Festival contest.

The winners, and their families, have been invited to be recognized at the Poetry Festival to be held on Saturday. The Paterson Poetry Festival will take place outdoors at 77 Hamilton Street from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

In addition to the poetry contest, the festival will feature live performances by several local poets including Queen, Lewis Cole, Manny Martinez, and Ralston Moore.

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“Giving students an opportunity to express themselves helps build a better Paterson because a place with balanced social emotional beings who think critically and can communicate effectively is the basis for a civilized cultured environment.,” Queen told TAPinto Paterson. “ Who doesn't want that?”


TAPinto Paterson congratulates all of the winners:


High School

1st Place The Decline, by Michael Depena RPHS

2nd Place Face of Beauty  by Jennifer Guizar RPHS

3rd Place Feathered Thoughts by Kiara Guzman RPHS

Honorable Mention Untitled Jennifer Guizar RPHS

Grades 6-8


1st Place Sleep No More by Nathaniel Munoz Grade 6 School 18

2nd Place Feelings by Aaliyah Smith Grade 6 School 18

3rd Place Sleep Days in the Sunlight  by Molly Avalos Grade 8 School 18



1st Place Thunder and Rain by Emilee Fernandez Grade 5 MLK

2nd Place Peace to the World by Romario Reid Grade 5 MLK

3rd Place Even Though We Speak Different Languages by Edward Easterling Grade 5 MLK

Honorable Mention Dark and Light by Yoharitza Becerra Grade 5 MLK

Honorable Mention Judging by Justin Aybar Grade 5 School 18


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