More than fifty entries were submitted in four age categories, all on the theme of “the wonderful world of books, and were read and judged by local poet Jonell Jel’enedra. Winning entries were read, many by the authors, at Felton Community Hall on April 27, 2006. Below are some of the winning entries.

“When I Read”
When I read I learn stuff.
When I read I get hungry.
When I read I get cozy.
When I read I think.
Jenna DiNapoli, age 7


A book can take you…
It can be the bottom of the ocean…
To Pluto,
The middle of the sun.
Anywhere you want it to be…

Jordan Miller

The World
Why, why is the world this way?
Bumble-bees buzz to have their say.
Butterfly words just float away.
But human words, without a croak or neigh, they sit there, and they stay.

In nature there are beautiful sounds, but humans go, “E=MC Squared. Circles are round.”
Humans are so bland and bleak, I’d much rather listen to the creek!

Emeline Mostafa

I Want a Voice Like Billy Collins

Each night I allow myself one poem
from his books perched on my bedside table
restraining from gluttony
the same way I trained myself
away from a whole bag of M&M’s
in favor of one tiny square
of the darkest chocolate I can find
It is after all poetry and I want
to do it right savor words like a guilty pleasure
tasting on my tongue the unadulterated
cowness of his Irish cows, the steaming
locomotive perfection of his cigarettes
the Beethoven symphony of his neighbor’s dog
There’s a chemical in chocolate
released in the body the same way his poems
dissolve in my mind something I’m sure
that could be explained in the kind of book
I’d never read
I finger the spine of Picnic Lightening
wonder if I slid it under my pillow
while I slept if osmosis would have
its way with me if upon waking
my head would be filled with
fresh baked scones blackberry preserves
and clotted cream that would pour
onto the page a diapered baby poem
with a startling cry

Cathy Warner

The Feel of Great Books
The Thread of Life
Books are tapestries sown with dreams.
Our minds the balls of yarn from which they grow.
Painted with fantasy, adventures abound.
Bringing us ever closer to creativity itself.
Weaving themselves into us, they seek to stay.
Bestowing their knowledge, a book’s gift.
Sometimes I wish I could be woven into the fabric of their worlds.
Chad Townsend

When I Read
When I read, I go off to far-away places.
When I read a series, I get so caught up in it, I never want to stop.
When I get out a picture book, I just sink into it.
When I read a night-time book, I get so sleepy I fall asleep with a picture from a book in my head, and I dream about stories.

April Martin-Hansen (age 8)

My friends and I trade favorite books like baseball cards:
Kerouac for Kesey,
Gloria Naylor for Alice Walker,
Hesse and Kafka for Allende and Garcia-Marquez,
Virginia Woolf for E.M. Forster,
Henry Miller for Charles Bukowski…
After each trade, I have another talent to moon over,
another Major League hero.
I play in the Pee Wee League.
When I check in for the weekly game at the local university,
suited up in my loosest clothes,
equipped with spiral notebook and pen,
I am pumped up with my hero worship.
I stand at the plate, close my eyes, and picture my swing.
I am Bukowski, ready to hit it hard, brutally, and true.
I am Kerouac, ready to dance around the plates like a bebop bandit.
I am Alice Walker, Virginia Woolf, about to hit a fly ball straight at the sun,
leaving a blazing orb imprinted on the eyes of all who follow its path.
The professor makes the pitch: “Ten minutes of timed writing.”
Pen poised, I am ready for glory, all my heroes with me,
shouting words of encouragement in my head.
Eyes on the ball, I swing.
“Whoosh” – the bat cuts through the air without connection.
“Strike one!” I swing again and again: “Strike two!”, “Steerike three!”
I head home, shoulders slightly sagging,
but later, by the light of my bedside lamp,
I pull out the dog-eared work
of the hero who owns my heart that day,
and I know that I have to keep swinging
because some day, some day
I want to crack that bat,
feel the bliss of contact shoot through my arms into my chest,
and watch my words fly, flaming, into the sun.

Joni Martin