Poetic Power

A Creative Communication blog

Featured Teacher: Kim Straub – Red Bud Elementary School

IMG_1687Kim Straub is the 8th grade language arts teacher of Warren Stolte, a Top Ten Winner from our Fall 2017 national poetry contest for the poem “Band Classroom.”

This is my tenth year of encouraging my students to participate in Creative Communication’s poetry contest and the first year that a student’s submission has been selected for the top ten best poems. For my students, the contest has always generated an excitement and enthusiasm for writing. Even in this age of technology, students still love seeing their very own words, feelings, and ideas put into print and published in an attractive, hardcover book they can hold in their hands, share with their family and friends, and keep on their bookshelf. Beginning the school year with a poetry unit teaches students to understand the importance of word choice, tone, and mood in all of their writing throughout the year. Submitting their poems to Creative Communications for possible publication provides for my students an exciting conclusion to our poetry unit . Poetry projects come and go, but this is one I plan on continuing every year I teach.

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Featured Student Author: Oliver Adams

IMG_1423Oliver is a Top Ten Winner from our Fall 2017 national poetry contest for his poem “Flurries.”

I am a 12 year old boy, that likes sports and English class. My English teacher told me about the contest because she said we could write an entry for a class party. It was the Halloween party, but I was thinking about winter and snow because it was around the corner. I actually didn’t write it there though. The next week I was asleep, and woke up from a dream about snow. I got the idea right then and there. It was one in the morning and my parents told me to go back to sleep. I wrote the poem anyways.

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Featured Student Author: Sonya Dabbs

Sonya DabbsSonya is a Top Ten Winner from our Fall 2017 national poetry contest for her poem “The Old Elm.”

My name is Sonya Dabbs and I am 8 years old. I have always loved reading and writing—you can learn so much! Sometimes, when you write, you can imagine, feel, and teach yourself things you never knew before. That is an amazing thing to experience!

I was inspired to write “The Old Elm” when I saw and heard the story of the 1,000-year-old elm tree, which lives in my Mom’s hometown of Sliven, Bulgaria. It was such an amazing sight and story, that I knew I had to write about it to express the emotions I felt. I love nature and often write about it—it feels as if it comes alive on my page. I know that whatever I do in the future, it will always include writing.

Thank you for choosing me to be a Top Ten winner; my family and I are very happy.


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Featured Student Author: Ayaad Asghar

IMG_9477 (1)Ayaad is a Top Ten Winner in our summer 2017 national poetry contest for his poem “Rain“.

Hello Everyone,

My name is Ayaad Asghar. I am five years old and I’m in Kindergarten. I go to Coyote Ridge Elementary School in Broomfield, CO. I love going to school, I love my teacher, and I love playing with my friends. I have five friends and we all play soccer during recess. I love drawing, coloring, and writing poems, and my older sister Aiza Asghar is my inspiration. I am lucky that she is my sister. When I grow up, I want to be a doctor or a fire fighter. Last, I would like to thank Creative Communication for appreciating my hard work and honoring me with an award! I’m so excited!!! I want to write more poems now.


Ayaad Asghar

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Featured Student Writer: Anya Ambarish

File.aspxAnya Ambarish is a top ten winner in our summer 2017 national poetry contest for her poem “Puppets.”

My name is Anya Ambarish, and I live in Sterling, Virginia. I am in the eighth grade at Stone Hill Middle School. When I found out I was a top ten winner, I was beyond ecstatic. Poetry is one of my biggest passions, because of the beautiful things you can do with letters and words. To receive such validation for my poem was just incredible. I was inspired to write Puppets because I have always thought of letters and words as extensions of myself. I am able to manipulate them in any way that I want, to express any emotion. I wanted to put this feeling on paper, which led me to write this poem.

Some of my other interests are tennis, basketball, and robotics. I enjoy these activities because the feeling of hitting the ball perfectly, sinking a shot into a soft net, and the triumph of getting a robot to work are things even words fail to describe.

My goals for the future are to start my own business, write a novel, and publish my complete collection of poems. All of these things will be very challenging, but I will savor every moment of the journey.Image result for anya ambarish

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Featured Student Author Jenny Hu

IMG_2076Jenny Hu is a top ten winner in our summer 2017 national poetry contest for her poem “Forever.” 

I’m Jenny Hu. I’m thirteen, and in eighth grade at the Seven Hills School in Cincinnati, Ohio. I play piano, as well as another twenty-one-stringed instrument called the guzheng, or Chinese zither, and I play golf too. I am bilingual, speaking both English and Chinese fluently, but I also study Latin and Spanish. I love writing, and when not pursuing any of my musical or athletic endeavors, I like to crochet, travel, and read. My stories and essays have earned various recognition including publication in the Creative Kids Magazine and publication in a magazine in China. I placed fifth in a statewide short story writing competition called Power of the Pen as well.

My poem, “Forever“, was inspired by my English teacher’s assignment to write a poem about nostalgia. I thought of one of my oldest friends, a girl who used to live just down the street, but now lives in a whole different city from me. She was once my best friend, but now I see her only once a year as our lives are pulled in different directions. The poem was a glimpse back into my treasure trove of beautiful memories with her.
My goal for the future is to be a cardiologist, a doctor of the heart. Ever since I was very little I’ve wanted to go into the medical field, a career that I’ve always viewed as the most direct way to change someone’s life for the better. However, I know that writing will always be a central part of my life, in one way or another.

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Featured Student Author: Abby Haase

Abby HAbby was a top ten winner in our spring 2017 national poetry competition for her poem “Storm Drain.”

Hi! My name is Abby Haase, I’m 13 years old. There are endless ways to express yourself; singing, cooking, photography, even cracking jokes. But for me it’s writing, poetry especially. But when I am not writing I enjoy to run, bake, give attention to my two very much so attention seeking dogs, and I also love clothes and fashion just in general. I wrote my poem “Storm Drain” because, when someone sees you a certain way or labels you something it can be very challenging not to see yourself that way. Even though it could quite possibly be the very opposite of you. My main goal for the future, as far as writing goes, is to finally finish and try to publish my book that’s favorite key on the keyboard is delete.

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Featured Teachers: Joyce Faragasso and Kelly Dilullo

Joyce Faragasso and Kelly Dilullo collaboratively teach k-12 gifted students in the Interboro School District. Initially, they stumbled upon Creative Communications in an effort to locate academic opportunities for students to shine and showcase their work. However, it has now become a staple in their lesson plans every fall and spring! Each year, students look forward to the form associated with their grade level and competing in the contest.

With the push toward core standards in education, poetry has limited place in the curriculum. In the near future, poetry writing may be a lost art. Kelly and Joyce kick off the school year with poetry writing because it really excites the kids and the interest level is high. When given the opportunity to write various forms of poetry, the students are engaged and motivated because it is different, which makes it fun!

In the spring, the focus in on essay writing. Each grade level is offered a different type of writing and the topics often relate back to the regular education curriculum. This provides the students with a sense of connection and familiarity for the topics. It also allows them to draw on prior information and enrich their knowledge in an area of study. Creating meaningful outlets to write is important in creating motivated writers!

Joyce explains, “In today’s technology driven world, writing is all around us like never before. It is a means for effective communication, collaboration, sharing of ideas, and expressing emotions.” Understanding the necessity of writing, Kelly and Joyce encourage students to write with a purpose, about memories, areas of interest, or future goals. Kelly says, “Whenever you have a child draw on something familiar that they are eager to share, the writing will flow naturally. It is up to the teacher to model the writing process and provide structure for writing.” They get students hooked on writing by allowing them to write freely and experiment with different forms of writing.

​Both teachers share the belief that motivating students to enjoy writing and to become effective writers and communicators is key for life long learners.

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Featured Teacher: Katie Kinder

Kinder teacher faceTeaching is a call on my heart; I absolutely love what I do, and believe it to be the most important work in the world. Students like Chris make teaching seem easy; he is kind, insightful, and man, that kid can write. Every year I do an assignment called “The Poem of Life.” It comes at a time in the year when kids are ready to share and feel comfortable in my Family Classroom. With blue walls, trees, greenery, and the wafting scent of vanilla, my classroom embodies the kind of place I wish I had had when I was a teenager. I immersed myself in brain research and learned that kids should only see colors they see in nature; it immediately calms down the high-strung, often high-anxiety middle school student in which life can be stressful and feelings of insecurity are felt within the walls of their home and school.

My classroom is a safe place in which to write especially poetry. Kids are asked to write a poem about a time in their lives that was hard, but they overcame in a difficult journey. Often times there are tears, but I tell them that tears are okay. Tears tell a story of pain and they also symbolize healing and strength. chris and teacher

I love the Creative Communication’s Poetry Competition. My students always become ecstatic when the book arrives. I’ve never had a student in the Top Ten before and I’m so proud of Kenneth Cooper’s own, Chris Johnson and his poem “A Father’s Sacrifice.”

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Featured Student Writer: Christopher Johnson

Christopher is a Top Ten Winner for our fall 2016 national poetry contest chris1for his poem “A Father’s Sacrifice.”

My name is Christopher Johnson; I am 14 years old, and attend Kenneth Cooper Middle School in Oklahoma. What inspired me to write “A Father’s Sacrifice” was just watching what my dad did for me throughout my life. Since I was a little boy, all I saw my dad ever do is work and work without ever stopping, but somehow he still had time for me. From my birthday’s to even just going to the mall to see a movie, he always made time for me. One time when it was his birthday (which is one day out of the year where I finally get to give back and let him have his own day) instead of him getting what we wanted, he made sure that I had everything I needed first. He’s always put me first no matter the time or place, he also protects me with his life, and never gives up on me. I do sometimes feel like I am the luckiest boy in the world to have such a great dad in my life to learn from and to have a male role model to get inspiration from a lot of my friends don’t have what I have. I want to grow up to be just like him strong, independent, but also caring for others. If you could see the look on my dad’s face when he saw my poem was in the Top Ten Winners, I knew he was proud of me.

chris and teacherI have achieved a lot in my short life; I took the ACT at the age of 12. I am taking a 10th grade math course right now, and I am in National Junior Honor Society. This achievement is my most recent one. I do plan to go to culinary school, but not in Oklahoma. I want to go to New York to attend the ICE institute of Culinary Education with my grandparents who live there. I’ve always loved cooking and watching other people cook like Gordon Ramsey. I want to own my own restaurant someday but, first I will go to college to get a degree.

One of my main inspirations from my school was my English teacher Ms. Kinder. I’m so grateful that I got to share this achievement with her because I know it really meant a lot to her and made her proud but, without her I don’t think I would have had the courage to submit my poem and I really do thank her for giving me the courage to do it. She’s always inspired me to be great and that I will do great things in the future. Ms. Kinder was just been a very big part of my life and I don’t know what I’d do without her.

I am very honored to have been picked Top Ten from Creative Communications and I hope that I can keep on succeeding and doing what I put my mind to, because the first step of achieving any goal is to believe in yourself and work hard. That’s what I plan to do with the rest of my life and maybe teach others how to too because some people have the ability to be great, but they are only holding themselves back from greatness.

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