Studio 360’s Summer Poetry Challenge: Battle of the High School Bards

Extra Credit

Friday, July 11, 2014

Studio 360's Battle of the High School Bards

Attention young poets: We want to hear your voices! Don’t leave your best work inside a notebook — send it to us. We’re looking for poetry by students who are about to start high school, in high school, or just graduated. We’ll post a featured submission here every week, and rising poetry star Dorothea Lasky will pick a winner on our show.

Your assignment: Write a poem on the theme of summer. Your poem can be rhymed, free verse, blank verse, spoken-word, whatever you choose.

Enter your poem as text or audio below.

Enter your poem as textEnter your poem as audio

The deadline for submissions is Monday, August 18, 2014, 11:59 p.m. ET.

UPDATE: Timi Okedina is our winner. Thank you to everyone who shared their work with us! You can read and listen to all the entries by clicking on the images above.

Our high school poetry challenge is co-presented with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers’ Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Past winners have included Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath, Myla Goldberg, and Lena Dunham. You can out more about the Awards here; submissions for next year’s awards open in September.

    Music Playlist
  1. Oregano
    Artist: Gonzales
    Album: Solo Piano
    Label: SSC
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. Lazy Summer
    Artist: Charles Michael Brotman
    Album: Rockin' the Uke
    Label: Sonoton
    Purchase: Amazon


Dorothea Lasky

Produced by:

Matt Frassica

Comments [29]

Jenny from Studio 360

@ Sophia - thanks for the suggestion!
@ Joe - here's the link:

Aug. 27 2014 10:18 AM
Joe Manning from VA

@Jenni fro 360

Could you please post a link to the poem read on this weeks show, "Moving," by Navia, from Arizona?

Aug. 24 2014 11:39 AM

I am really glad that you are doing a contest like this!
You should do more in the future! Perhaps, short stories, etc. I just find there is more time in the summer for this kind of thing than during the school year. :D

Aug. 21 2014 12:04 PM
mahlina weaver from annapolis maryland

I used to love you summer,
When you were happy and full of sunshine,
I used to love you summer,
But that was in a different time.

When I was two, my mother left my father. I spent that summer without him, maybe he was there at points, but my memory didn't bother...
Holding onto him, his goateed face, shiny brown eyes, and emotions all over the place.

Instead, it pushed him out that summer. I wish I could remember our goodbye, my blue eyes filled with wonder.
"Why are you leaving?" I might have uttered.
My face twisted with tears, he would have replied, "because I'm unwanted by your mother."

And so we moved again, a new summer somewhere else,
Where I shared a room with my step-dad and mother,
And sometimes at night, when I thought of his smile...
I'd get lonely and slip beneath their covers.

So the next few summers I stayed with him,
His emotions and rage,
Either caused or calmed by gin.
And scary were the dreams, that stayed and lurked within.

Then my cousin wasn't thinking right,
And hurt me while I slept,
And for the next three years, I never ventured back,
So maybe I could forget.

But nothing is forgotten,
When something isn't kept.
So for the first time I went back this year,
And realized as I wept;

I used to love you summer,
When you were happy and full of sunshine,
I used to love you summer,
But that was in a different time.

I never quite forgot picking up beach glass with my mother,
I recall my dad was there, but only seemed to hover.
As if looking over our shoulders,
Waiting for a time to say he loved her.

But as is the norm with emotion, my father drew a blank... And as we sailed out of his life,
He stayed waiting on that sandy bank.

Aug. 18 2014 05:45 PM

When will the winners be choosen? What day to be exact..

Aug. 18 2014 12:55 PM
Renee Brown from Alabaster, AL

Wanted to share this with my creative writing students, but can't access the text submission via the link or the notebook-click. When I click or copy/paste the link I get "Radio Ambulante" and "Support Radio 360" boxes, but not poetry submission info. Hmmm...can you help?

Aug. 18 2014 12:37 PM
Jenny from Studio 360

@ Leeban -- thanks for your poem. To submit it to our contest, please click on the image of the notebook and follow the instructions there.

(Or go here:


Aug. 17 2014 09:44 PM
Leeban Osman from Leesburg, Virginia

_After the Harvest__

For you my dear, of glistening gold and hues of blue, a mirage created by the constructs of feeble minds.

Our ability to connect is truly frayed, a romance delayed, short as the breath of some insectoid, bent on lustful satisfaction.

Are you even real? If so, very little time is spent on the marvelous experience that is joy.

Pure and free of the adultery which is an office and a cage.

The highways connected like the arteries of some foul beast, circulating through the body with the opioids of ignorance and indifference.

How is it that you would like to pronounce my name, would you make a gentle song out of it and lull to me sleep?

Or spit at my face with anger and disgust?

I have yet to know the ailments and disease of a life full of unhappiness, for I have not lived one.

To yearn for your touch in the waking slumber of the school year is to daydream, but not of my distant hopes and visions of accomplishment.

But of truth, brought forth through the neutrality of time.

It is the waiting game, which I cannot live through, a wasteland filled with the death of youth and innocence.

Their ghosts, specters that drain from you all the creativity and imagination of a child, to change you into the grotesque twisted form of a worker ant.

Subduing the hearts desires with binds made of paychecks and the disillusionment of having importance.

But you are no fake, or cheap reenactment of some unholy war.

You pulse and vibrate with the magnificence of laughter.

Your tears shred through my dissected emotions.

Freeing me, no, all of us from the confines of having just one feeling.

Broadening our mental scopes, how can I feel hate and love at once?

We were taught that they were polar opposites, not of the same lineage.

And so I say to you with the unflinching eyes of man decapitated on the stump of an oak.

That I both hate, love, fear, admire, and envy you.

Following your cycle of death and rebirth.

Aug. 17 2014 08:28 PM
Jenny from Studio 360

@Madison -- sure!

Aug. 15 2014 09:32 PM

Can poems entered here be submitted elsewhere for publication?

Aug. 14 2014 11:24 PM
Ronald Lah

Please tell Kurt A. I really like his show. However, he needs to learn to pronounce the word "poem" correctly. Frequently mispronounced with one syllable, like "pome' (which means a type of fruit), it actually has two syllables. Look it up. You can hear the correct pronunciation at
Your sponsorship of a poetry contest makes this all the more important.

Ronald, retired teacher of English and other subjects

Aug. 08 2014 11:37 AM

Hi Kinnie,

Please submit your entry through our Soundcloud page -- here are the instructions:



Aug. 07 2014 05:26 PM
Kinnie Cross from Omaha,NE

My name is Makenya, I Prefer Kinnie im 16 years old,
and this is a poem I created called 'Since Last Summer'

Aug. 06 2014 08:37 PM
Khrista from Studio 360:

Hi Alison,

Looking forward to your submissions! Please submit each individual poem separately - one submission per poem in the form above.

Let us know if you have any other questions,

Aug. 04 2014 01:15 PM
Khrista from Studio 360:

Hi Doug Thom,

Glad to hear you have a poem to submit! We're taking all entries in the form above - you can just paste the text of your poem in box above.

Thanks for listening,

Aug. 04 2014 12:57 PM
doug thom from Lynchburg, VA (24503)

can I submit a poem via Google "drive" and gmail?

Aug. 04 2014 09:27 AM
Alison from New York

If we want to submit more than one poem, do we do it all in one submission or do we make multiple submissions (like, fill out the form multiple times)? Thanks!

Aug. 02 2014 11:30 AM
Matt from Studio 360

@Charles and Stephanie,

Here you go:


Jul. 31 2014 06:44 PM
Stephanie from Philadelphia

I, too, would like to know where I can listen to the poem "Let's" I heard last night (July 29th) on WHYY.

Jul. 30 2014 08:17 AM
Charles from olympia washington

How do you listen to the last poem Sunday night July 27th "Lets"

on KBTC on NPR or PBS

Jul. 29 2014 04:37 AM
Emily Audra from Stow, OH

It's great that your contest encourages high school students to submit poems and related creative writing.

As a senior citizen, I would love to participate by sending my thoughts and remembrances from summers past.

Perhaps Studio 360 will offer this to us "oldies but goodies" sometime in the future?

(I even thought of a great title... until I noticed the age restriction!)

Best wishes to all~

Jul. 28 2014 01:12 AM
Jenny from Studio 360

@Aiza -- yup! For more information, click on the notebook above.

Jul. 25 2014 07:22 PM
Aiza from Earth

Are we allowed to submit more than one poem?

Jul. 25 2014 12:39 PM
Matt from Studio 360

@Effy - You can submit previously published work, as long as it's your own. And feel free to submit poems you've sent to us elsewhere!

@M. - It looks like your best bet might be using those periods, or other characters like an underscore (_). Sorry for the inconvenience!

@Baila - There's currently no way to add comments or likes to poems, but we agree - lots of good work here already.

Jul. 25 2014 12:26 PM

I've been reading through people's poems and some of them are really good! I wish there was some way to leave comments or "like" them... I'm far too used to social media. But anyway, I enjoy them. If you're reading this, I just want to say good job.

Jul. 24 2014 03:33 PM
M. from WA

How can I post a poem in a format where indents are needed? (The survey submit box doesn't allow that and immediately aligns everything to the left). Would I be allowed to just paste a link of the screenshot/picture of my poem? Or would I have to use periods, like this:
Roses are red
.......violets are blue
....graceful like you

Jul. 22 2014 05:52 PM
Effy from PNW

Are we allowed to post poetry that's been submitted (and/or published) elsewhere? If, by chance, a person's poem wins the contest, will the person still be able to submit the poem to other places, for example Scholastics?

Jul. 22 2014 04:13 PM
Matt from Studio 360

Thanks, Matt. We've clarified the language above to reflect that submissions are welcome from current high school students, students about to enter high school and those who have just graduated.

Jul. 21 2014 02:41 PM
Matt H. from Seattle, WA

It says current or rising high school students.

Jul. 21 2014 12:29 AM

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