The winners of Penfield Public Library’s 34th Annual Teen Poetry Contest were announced today. The contest, which is sponsored by the Friends of Penfield Public Library, was open to anyone in grades 6-12 who lives in or attends school in Monroe County. This year 122 poems were entered into the sixth grade division; 97 poems were entered into the 7th and 8th grade division; and 81 poems were entered into the senior high division (grades 9-12). Thank you to everyone who entered. There were many outstanding submissions!


“Ignorance is Bliss” by Abby Rockwell, a student at Webster Schroeder High School

Ignorance is bliss

Ignorance is bliss,
For if you know not,
Then gush you not, for nothing is amiss,
No abundant tears hot.
The absence of knowing
Of  a tragedy
Spares the sowing
Of heartbroken gravity,
Sleepless nights,
Endless worry,
Resulting frights,
And staying up early.
However, if ignorance is happiness,
Why aren’t more people happy in this?


“Black Ink” by Norah Cooper, a student a School of the Arts

Black Ink

Nothing, absolutely nothing,
will ever best the splendor of the human body,
Look at the skyline on its inky canvas.
Your ribs are the hills,
your eyes are newborn stars burning blue,
and your spine is the barely perceivable curvature of the earth.
Your nails are splintering spring ice,
and your skin in the crust of earth on which we wander,
Your body’s crimson waters are more vibrant than any tide.
Yes, relief is not for the living–
engraved in our guts are things lost,
what might have been, like initials on a tree.
Yet no matter how tragic,
there is not anything that will ever be capable
of usurping the wonder of your existence.
Your breath is everything virtuous,
and your smile is change on the horizon.
You are the blackest ink,
the most damned in the world