Thank you for participating in our 25th Annual Poetry Awards Contest! Poems will be judged by talented, local professionals and our winners will be celebrated at an in-person Awards Ceremony June 9, 2024. In the meantime, be sure to read of all the submissions from our community.

Winners will be notified the end of May by email.
Winning poems will be celebrated online and in person on June 9, 2024.  

3rd-5th Grade
6th-8th Grade
9th-12th Grade
Adult (18 and up)

Prizes have been generously donated by our sister community benefit organization, The Friends of the Fresno County Public Library. This year, the top three winners in each category will receive the following prizes:

Prizes for 3rd - 5th Grade and 6th - 8th Grade categories are:
1st Place: $200 Gift Card to Petunias Place Children's Bookstore
2nd Place: $100 Gift Card to Petunias Place Children's Bookstore
3rd Place: $50 Gift Card to Petunias Place Children's Bookstore

Prizes for 9th - 12th Grande and Adult (18 and up) are:
1st Place: $200 Gift Card to Barnes & Noble
2nd Place: $100 Gift Card to Barnes & Noble
3rd Place: $50 Gift Card to Barnes & Noble

Join us June 9 at 2pm at the Woodward Park Regional Library for the Poetry Awards Ceremony. More information to follow.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at 

Note to readers: Some of the poems submitted may contain sensitive topics. If you or someone you know needs help, please consider accessing our Hotlines & Helplines page.

April is National Poetry Month and this year we have added a new component to our Annual Poetry Contest on our beanstack LibraryClub!

Sign up for the Poetry Month Challenge on beanstack to start playing Bingo and earning new badges. You can even invite friends and keep track of your reading all year long.

No Promises

Who’s to promise I was given love.
When no one gave me but an empty heart.
Who’s to promise I won’t be hurt
When I was shattered more than hurt

Though I loved her and wish to see her with my eyes.
Something stopped me to a halt.
Could I step into a dream?
Out of bounds from the world
Or reality?
Or did I get caught in my self with her?

People wonder why trust issues happen.
When promises can also be broken
Who can promise me a promised land?
When they can promote a shattered place
A place full of shame
The space full of guilt
The floor made of regret.

For the one and only place I speak of Is inside me
For it is the production of love
But the production of brokenness
To ease the pain of never having her
For whom I truly wanted out of her
though the image of her
the one I wanted.
never came to reality.
but must’ve known.
that I existed
because ‘she’ never truly existed

--Symon T., 9th-12th Grade

i threw it away

every second 
every hour 
every day 

i counted off the weeks 
i begged on my knees 
breakdowns leaning on the bathroom door 
staring at myself at the mirror in nothing but a towel 
wretchedly pale, face blotched red 
i sobbed for hours, i debated collapsing on the dirty floor
forevermore lying there, never waking up 
left my hair matted, stared at the sheets imploringly 
each puzzle piece of me picked away 
i recorded my breakdowns and watched them back with some masochistic gleam 
everything i did to avoid thinking about it 
the hot flames of my cheeks, standing in front of everyone in the room 
i’ve never seen the walls collapse so silently 
save me, i screamed, i begged so pitifully 
i sought out three day weekends and let tsunamis flood my cheeks 
i traveled to the furthest escapes and woke up with my skin glistening 
but i had no one to blame but myself 
these stirrings i found in the nooks of my body 
they attacked me so briefly and saddened me greatly
i never knew how to dealt with it 
i never did 
i never knew how to fix it 
so i threw it away

--Riley L., 6th-8th Grade

Library note:
If you or someone you know is experiencing depression or thoughts of suicide please seek help: you can call 866-629-4564 to reach a specialist with The National Depression Helpline. It’s a free, confidential, around-the-clock helpline for depression and/or anxiety. Or please call the CA Youth Crisis Line at 1-800-843-5200, 24/7 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

The Blood That I Bleed

The blood that I bleed
It is crimson in color
As is everyone’s

The tears that I shed
Are filled with melancholy
As is everyone’s

These emotions felt
Define my actions and thought
As is everyone’s

Who has injured me?
Who has injured me to bleed?
This is known as fear

What are these tears for?
Why must I feel such sorrow?
This is known as fear

Is this feeling real?
What am I feeling to them?
This is known as fear

Fear can disappear
There is no correct answer
Everyone must choose

However while deciding
Something is lost, forgotten
They forget one thing

What is the blood that I bleed?

--Ulysses S., 9th-12th

My Father

Sometimes I love my father.
He taught me to be strong,
He showed me how a woman shouldn’t be treated.

My father, a narcissistic liar.
His darkness which consumes my mother’s light.

His word was nothing like mine,
His world was nothing like mine.
Did I really have a father?

My father, a sociopathic fire
destroying the life within his daughters.
--Harmony H., 9th-12th Grade

Library note:
If you or someone you know has a problem with domestic / relationship violence please seek help: National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or 
text BEGIN to 88788.

Nothing Like Home

People often say:
“Oh you are my home” or “you make feel at home”

But to me,
You are nothing like my home.

Because for me,
Home is a mess.

It is full of screaming and crying and cussing,

It’s like the sounds of crashing pots and pans;

Accompanied by the screaming and yelling and lots of

It is nothing,

But a roof and 4 walls.

If you were like Home,

I don’t think I would love you all that much.

Because home is anything but a safe space.

But you,

Oh, how you , my love; you are my safe space.

You make me feel safe

You never raise your voice or throw stuff

You never make me feel guilty just by eating a cookie.

You never even make me feel bad for expressing my feelings
towards you

So unlike home,

You make me feel safe with your arms wrapped around me

feeling your soft touch and you telling me how much I mean
to you and how much you mean to me.

You are nothing like home

But in this case,

I think it’s a good thing.

Thank you,
For being nothing like home

--Felicity E., 9th-12th Grade

Library note:
If you or someone you know has a problem with domestic / relationship violence please seek help: National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text BEGIN to 88788.

From November to December

It is November
There are leaves falling from trees,
From November to December
Where you can feel the cold breeze.

From pumpkin pie
To Christmas cookies,
I love pumpkin pie, I won’t lie
But smelling Christmas cookies, really excites me.

From Jack-o-lanterns
To Christmas lights,
From plaid patterns
To warm tights.

I love fall,
And I love winter
Though I do love fall, overall,
Winter always makes life shimmer.

--Ariana D., 6th-8th Grade


You can knock down a star holding hands with a pixie

Or live almost forever like nine times three sixty

You can make a doll laugh

Hear a unicorn cry

Or make tiny footprints in the clouds of the sky

You can sprout wings from your backpack

Or glow in the dark

And if you're a pirate, talk to a shark

Maybe you'll meet a troll that picks his nose

Or a blue skinned wizard that could conjure a rose

Maybe a mermaid with a tail of gold 

Or a goblin merchant with tales to be told

You can buy a phoenix with feathers of crimson 

Or in you're naughty end up in a elven prison

Rivers of gold

And rainbow-ous bridges

Magic's around us, as Fantasy thickens 

--Naomi G., 6th-8th Grade