Here they are! The winners of the 2014 Fresno County Public Library Poetry Contest. Thanks to all 266 poets who participated this year and our fabulous judges. The winners were formerly announced in a special awards ceremony for all the poets, family and friends. The winners received Target gift cards. Enjoy reading all the poems!

3rd-6th Grade 

7th-8th Grade

9th-12th Grade



Thank you to all of our participants!

The 2014 poetry contest is closed for any new entries. We will have all of the wonderful poems posted to this site by May 9th. Our judges will be hard at work leading up to our awards ceremony on May 31st! Feel free to take a look at all of our poems. Want to find your entry quickly, just click on the poet names on the right side to be taken straight to your poem. Otherwise, enjoy all of the amazing poetry that our contestants have to offer!

2014 Poetry Contest

The Library's 2014 Poetry Contest is officially here! Here's all of the rules and details of this year's contest. Let your inner poet be heard!

1. All poems must be submitted using this form. Hint: use the next button, don't just hit enter when you are done filling out fields!
2. Participants must fill out all of the required fields on the form. 
Please be sure to correctly fill out all of the appropriate sections before submitting!
3. Only one poem per person will be considered for the contest. You may not enter multiple categories (college & 18+)

4. You must be a Fresno County resident to participate.
5. If you are younger then 13, your parent must complete and submit the entry form for you.
6. If you are a teacher and want to submit poems from the students in your class, email the Library for more instructions.

Date of Contest

April 1st-30th, 2014

Contest Categories
3rd-6th, 7th-8th, 9th-12th, College (Ages: 18-24) & Adult (18+)

1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place winners in each category will win a $100, $50, & $25 Target gift card.


Stacey Balkun, Michael Dominquez, Juan Luis Guzmán, Michelle Patton, Joseph Voth


The Fresno County Public Library Poetry Contest is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Fresno County Public Library.

Award Ceremony
May 31st, at 2:00 pm. Join us for this auspicious event hosted by Fresno's own Poet Laureate, James Tyner. The ceremony will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church. 2672 E. Alluvial Ave, Fresno CA 93720.


Sometimes in life you have to give up

Or live it up as they say because you're not guaranteed the next day.

Giving up is hard, no one ever said it be easy, saying I love you should come from the heart, doesn't matter if it sounds cheesy.

Life is full of choices, choices that sometimes people make for us and we go along with it, boy what a mistake.

Yes we all have a choice but it seems that everybody around you wants to steal your voice.

Stand up for what you believe in or leave everything behind, speak your mind live in the moment don't live your life in rewind.

Make an impact in the lives of everybody you come in contact with. Give up? Yeah that's alright when you're giving it all up to Christ.

Life is a beautiful thing when you're a human being, life is accepting and believing in the unseen.

--Jose R., 25

The Prayer

Some say that you were just a man, Lord
But there's one thing I can see.
The things You did and the things You said
were not at all like me.

For when was the last time
I stretched out a comforting hand
To an adulterous woman scorned by the town
or the body of a leprous man?

Or how long will it be
Or how long will it take
Before I restore the sight
Of men who are born into darkness
Without comfort of spiritual light?

And when was the last time
I promised the poor and alone
That if they will live only for Me
They inherit a permanent home?

But the most amazing difference between us-
The one most easy to see
Is the fact that I never said "Father forgive them"
As I hang dying on a tree.

Lord, even if You weren't the Son of God
And were what they want You to be,
You'd be the greatest Man on earth
And not a all like me.

Deborah H., 59