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Georgia Celebrates 10th Annual Poet Laureate’s Prize

June 28, 2023
Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD)

ATLANTA – June 28, 2023 — This week, Georgia’s Poet Laureate, Chelsea Rathburn, in collaboration with Georgia Council for the Arts, announced the winner and finalists of the 10th annual Poet Laureate’s Prize. The prize is awarded for an original poem written by a Georgia high school student. This annual program is designed to encourage students in grades nine through 12 to write original poems and engage in the art form of poetry.  

This year, more than 200 students submitted poems for the 2022-2023 school year, and the students’ grade levels noted below reflect that time period. 

2023 WINNER POET LAUREATE’S PRIZE 

Eniola Badejo – “Right Here” 
Grade 12, Hillgrove High School 
Powder Springs, Cobb County 

2023 FINALISTS POET LAUREATE’S PRIZE  
(listed in alphabetical order by last name) 

Isabella Fonseca – “Prism” 
Grade 12, Harrison High School 
Kennesaw, Cobb County 

Andrea Lam – “Morning Anemoia” 
Grade 12, West Forsyth High School 
Cumming, Forsyth County 

Celina Simone – “The Habits of Strawberries” 
Grade 10, Lambert High School 
Suwanee, Forsyth County 

Jeonghyeon (Erica) Yun “Music Box Ballerina” 
Grade 12, McIntosh High School 
Peachtree City, Fayette County 

“Judging the Poet Laureate’s Prize is a difficult yet rewarding task. Along with celebrating our winner and finalists, I want to recognize the talents and techniques of the fine young poets across the state,” said Georgia Poet Laureate Chelsea Rathburn. “As I read and re-read this year’s entries, I could hear so many individual voices and unique stories, reminding me once again of poetry’s power to connect people across time and space.” 

Through a partnership with Atlanta Magazine, all winning and finalist poems are featured on its website. To read the poems, click here

“Georgia’s Poet Laureate’s Prize has been encouraging participation in the arts for the last 10 years, and we are always amazed by the ingenuity, creativity, and talent of students across the state,” said Georgia Council for the Arts Executive Director Tina Lilly. “Art is about self-expression, and every student who participated in this year’s contest embraced the challenge of making a personal statement through poetry. We are thankful for the many teachers and schools who supported these students along the way.” 

All Georgia high school students are encouraged to participate in this annual competition. Details about the 2024 competition will be available on the Georgia Council for the Arts website in fall 2023. The annual submission deadline is at the beginning of spring. Click here to learn more about the program. 

About Georgia Council for the Arts 

Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) is a strategic arm of the Georgia Department of Economic Development whose mission is to cultivate the growth of vibrant, thriving Georgia communities through the arts. GCA provides grant funding, programs, and services statewide that support the vital arts industry, preserve the state’s cultural heritage, increase tourism, and nurture strong communities. Funding for Georgia Council for the Arts is provided by appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit gaarts.org for more information. 

About GDEcD 

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a location for arts, film, and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. For additional information, visit georgia.org


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