The Airdrie Public Library announced the winners of the third annual Poetry in Motion contest on Sept. 18.
The two first-place finishers took home an iPad and will have their poems displayed on Airdrie Transit’s inter-city buses this fall, in collaboration with Alberta Culture Days. According to a press release from the Airdrie Public Library, 53 poems were submitted for the contest. A winner and a runner-up were announced for the two age categories and six pieces were shortlisted.
Kimberly Taylor, a mother and student at the University of Calgary, won the open category – designated for poets 18 and up – for her piece, “May.” She said her work describes the signs of spring in Airdrie, particularly street sweeping, and the sense that Canadians long for change after the cold conditions of winter.
“I think really good art communicates something that we all feel. So, we all have that time of waiting for, essentially spring, but also good things to happen,” she said. “So, hopefully that speaks to other people’s experiences too and helps them feel connected to something larger than themselves.”
The competition, run alongside the City of Airdrie’s community development department, accepted submissions of work from writers aged 13 to 17, as well as 18 and older. Poets were permitted to send in up to three submissions with no more than 11 lines each, and the poems could cover any topics of their choosing.
Kyerra Storrier won the youth category, designated for poets aged 13 to 17. Storrier was not made available for an interview as of press time.
Mia George, Victoria Pezzot, Brielle Aalhus, and Jen Atkin were announced as the shortlisted poets.
Calgary poet Joan Shillington was the judge for the contest. Her work has been published in Grain Magazine, The Fiddlehead, Freefall, Room, CV2, The Antigonish Review and others.
Taylor said she was surprised to learn that she won the open category, but she was excited, nonetheless.
“It was nice to get recognition for something that I [mostly] do for myself,” she said.
She added the addition of her work to the inter-city buses will provide riders exposure to her and other poets' craft that they may not have had otherwise.
“I’ve ridden the bus a lot myself, and it would be cool to read a poem instead of just adverts,” she said. “I’m excited for people to read it and people who maybe aren’t super interested in poetry getting a chance to read it and hopefully they enjoy it.”