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OBHS is Grand Champion of Walt Whitman Poetry Contest

Freshmen at Oyster Bay High School have proven their skills in the art of poetry writing. They were named Grand Champions in the 9th and 10th grade category of the Walt Whitman’s Birthplace Association’s 34th Annual Student Poetry Contest for their poetry anthology “If I Had One More Day…”


In addition to the anthology, freshman Estefany Canales was named one of eight individual winners for her poem “The City.”


The ninth grade English Honors students in Ms. Shannon Murphy’s class, along with their families, have been invited to a virtual awards ceremony via a YouTube slide-show video on Sunday, May 31 from 12-2 p.m. The ceremony, typically held at Walt Whitman’s birthplace in Huntington on his birthday, has gone virtual for safety reasons due to the pandemic.


“I am incredibly proud of my students’ hard work and creativity,” Ms. Murphy said. “Writing poetry can be intimidating as it requires writers to be precise with their words while also being vulnerable. My students used this opportunity to hone in on the skills they’ve been developing, and they were able to capture the theme of this year’s contest beautifully.”


The theme was “Leaping” into a “Leap Day” and asked participants to “write a poem about the Leap Day you envision – for yourself, for another, or for an inanimate object. Don’t “tell” us about your image, but “show” us with vivid pictures and action words.”


The winning poems will be posted on the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association website.


The City

By Estefany Canales 


She sings at night


Lighting the darkest corner


Streams of vehicles rush up and down


Connecting at the center


Tall buildings touching the moon


Yellow lights fill the rooms


On leap day


Everyone gathers to enjoy her beauty


The busy yellow cars


The subways


The diversity she holds


On this day everyone is one