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The Buckeye Education Foundation presents…

Poetry, Pizza, and Prizes!


Calling all Buckeye Students! We want to lift up your voices during

National Poetry Month!

All TK-8th Grade Buckeye Union School District students are invited to enter this free virtual showcase event!

2024 Theme: "What a Wonderful World"

How to participate:

  • Write a short poem on the theme “What a Wonderful World​​​​

  • Share your poem during the month of April, which is National Poetry Month! All entries will be displayed on this website in our virtual poetry gallery.

  • Earn PRIZES! Every poet will receive a personalized certificate, and some fun prizes just for entering! Our guest judges will select one outstanding poet in each grade level who will win a “Poetry and Pizza Prize Pack” which of course includes pizza!

  • Selected poets will be invited to read their poems for the Buckeye community at the May 15th meeting of the Buckeye School District Board of Trustees.

  • Scroll down for the official entry rules. But first, a bit about poetry . . .  

Writing Your Poem

What is poetry? There are many different types of poems, and all are welcome in our poetry showcase! 

Some poems rhyme, and some do not. Some are very short, and some are longer. They can be serious, silly, or somewhere in between! One important thing that makes a poem a poem is its ability to communicate an idea without using a lot of words, so we ask you to please limit your poem to fit on one page.

The most important thing to know is that your poem is your own expression; an opportunity to show a little bit of the world through your eyes, with your words. What we would really love to read is a poem that shows how you feel about the thing you choose to write about, and gives us a moment to feel it with you. When the judges read your poem, that is what they will be most hoping to see - that you took this opportunity to express yourself! You are of course welcome to seek help and feedback from friends and family members as you write.


Here are some things that may be helpful to think about as you write:

  • THEME – Does your poem address the theme "What a Wonderful World"? We invite you to write about what makes the world wonderful for you. You might want to write about a place you’ve been, or wish to go, or a specific experience you’ve had. You can write about something that is physical, like a feeling, an object, or a place, or you can write about something that is abstract like a feeling or an idea. You can even write about a combination of both! anything that you think makes your world wonderful. You don’t even have to use the word “wonderful” in the poem itself. For example, you might spend the entire poem just describing what it feels like to climb up to sit on a branch of a tree, letting the reader know about a wonderful feeling without ever actually saying the word “wonderful.”

  • IMAGERY – Do you choose words that paint a picture for the reader?

  • RHYTHM – Do the words work to control how the reader moves through your poem?

  • DENSITY – How much information and feeling can you pack into just a few words?

  • EVOKES A FEELING – Do you communicate a feeling with your words?

If you need some guidance or inspiration to help get you started, these online resources may help:

Official Rules:

  • Poet must be a Tk-8th grade Buckeye Union School District student. 

  • Poem must must fit on a single page. 

  • Poem may be typed or hand written.

  • Poem must have a title.

  • Poem must be signed "by . . ." the author somewhere on the page.

  • Poet must have parent/guardian permission to enter. Parent/guardian grants permission by submitting student's entry via parent/guardian email. 

  • Entries must be received by 11:59 PM on April 30, 2024.

  • To enter the Poetry Showcase (and contest), type or hand write your poem and email it as an attached Microsoft Word Document OR take a picture of your poem in JPEG or .jpg digital format, (NO SHARED FILE DOCUMENTS PLEASE) and email it to:

    • Email must include the following information:

      1. Poet's Name​

      2. Poet's Grade level

      3. Poet's School

      4. Poet's Teacher (6th-8th grade students please list your Language Arts teacher)

      5. Title of Poem 

  • Poets MAY submit multiple entries! (Write and enter as many poems as you would like!) 

  • Optional: 

    • You may illustrate your poem with drawings (on the same page) if you choose.

    • You are welcome to send a video of yourself reading your poem out loud for us to feature in the poetry gallery along with your written poem.

  • ​All poems will be displayed in the virtual poetry showcase, which will open the week following Spring Break.

  • All participants will receive a personalized certificate of participation along with some other fun prizes!

  • One outstanding poem in each grade level will receive special recognition in our poetry showcase, and be placed on display at The Bookhouse bookstore in Cameron Park! Each of the selected outstanding poets will also receive a Poetry Prize Pack which will include a new blank poetry notebook and pen, a set of small colorful pocket notebooks, a gift certificate to The Bookhouse in Cameron Park, and a gift card to treat yourself and your family to a pizza night! 

We can't wait to read your poem, and lift up your voice to share with our Buckeye family! Happy writing!  Questions? Email

Thank you to our esteemed guest judges! 
  • Alexis Sears is the author of Out of Order, winner of the 2021 Donald Justice Poetry Prize and the Poetry by the Sea Book Award: Best Book of 2022. Her work appears in Best American Poetry, Cortland Review, Cimarron Review, Poet Lore, West Branch, Hopkins Review, Literary Matters, Rattle, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA in poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her BA in Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University. Editor-at-Large of the Northwest Review and Contributing Editor of Literary Matters, she lives in Los Angeles.
  • Sue Crisp is a local author and poet, and member of Poetic License, Tuesday at Two poetry, and Friday Writers workshops. Winner in  the Voices of Lincoln poetry contest. Former introduction to poetry teacher for elementary and middle school students at Holy Trinity school in EDH. Sue has been a judge for our region's Poetry Out Loud high school poetry competition, and returns for a fourth year to judge the Buckeye Education Foundation Poetry Showcase.
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