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Zionsville Cultural District (ZCD), in partnership with the Town of Zionsville, has announced the winners of the second annual “Step-On-Us Sidewalk Poetry Contest,” which launched in January. In the adult category, Mary M. Brown has been selected as the first place winner and in the youth category, Aleyna Salas has been selected as the first place winner.
Mary M. Brown is from Anderson, Indiana. She taught literature and creative writing at Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion) and was the editor of The Steinbeck Review. “I tried to write a poem accessible to children as well as adults in this public place,” said Brown. “My poetry appears on the Poetry Foundation, American Life in Poetry and Indiana Humanities websites and in many journals including Flying Island, JJournal, Quiddity and Christian Century. Flying Island nominated two of my poems for a Pushcart Prize.”
Aleyna Salas is a fourth-grade student at Eagle Elementary. In her free time, she enjoys writing books. “I entered the contest because I think writing of any kind is enjoyable and I wanted to try something new,” said Salas. “J.K. Rowling is my role model.”
Second place winners include S. Evan Walters (Lebanon, Indiana) in the adult category and Elia Makinson, a student at Zionsville West Middle School, in the youth category.
In total, 58 poetry entries were submitted in the adult category and 12 entries were submitted in the youth category.
The poetry contest, unique in Indiana and one of only a handful in the nation, was open to all Indiana adult residents and Zionsville youth ages 17 and under. The program was created to promote the arts in Zionsville, transform the sidewalks and inspire residents of all ages to appreciate the arts.
The winning poems will be imprinted in conjunction with the Zionsville Street & Stormwater Department’s ongoing sidewalk repair schedule. Stamping locations will be announced soon. To view all winning poems, visit www.zionsvilleculturaldistrict.org/2018-winners-sidewalk-poetry-contest.html.
Mary M. Brown, first place in the adult category:
all the way around the world
--jumping ocean puddles,
stepping on desert sand, then
over hills, through jungles--
heading back to this very spot
Aleyna Salas, first place in the youth category:
I want to leave a mark where
I had a thought tied
in an inspiring poetry knot.
On the concrete, under my feet
As a sign to people
of my tribe.