The Patagonia Regional Times, in collaboration with the Patagonia Library and the Patagonia Creative Arts Center, is sponsoring a poetry contest for our local students. This contest is one of several events taking place as part of the National Endowment for the Arts ‘Big Read’ program in Patagonia. (Read more about this program and other events scheduled in the coming months on page 20 of this issue.) 

Students will be asked to write an original poem inspired by the work of Joy Harjo, whose book “An American Sunrise” is the focus of, and inspiration for, the local Big Read events. Harjo, a Native American woman, serves as poet laureate for the United States. Using American Indian imagery, folktales, symbolism, and mythology in her work, she writes about the environment, the landscape, her ancestors, traditions, and social issues. 

The PRT poetry contest is open to all students in eastern Santa Cruz County in grades 6 – 12. There will be two divisions, Middle School (grades 6 – 8) and High School (grades 9 – 12). Amazon gift cards will be awarded to the first place, second place and honorable mention winners. Winning entries will be published in the Patagonia Regional Times and will be posted on the PRT website. 

The deadline for entries is November 5. For more information about these contests, contest guidelines and instructions on how to enter, visit, email or call 520-604-7534.