Casey Epstein-Gross, an elder attending Solebury School, was named Bucks County High School Poet of the Year for 2021. Her three submissions were selected as the best work from over 150 entries received by Bucks County Community College for the annual competition.
For his first place, Epstein-Gross received a cash prize of $ 300 and was the guest of honor at a virtual poetry reading on May 16. “It’s a really nice day” and “The most efficient way to eat an orange.”
The 34th annual competition was judged by Jane Edna Mohler, the 2020 Bucks County Poet Laureate, and Mary Jo LoBello Jerome, the 2019 Bucks County Poet Laureate.
Mohler said that Epstein-Gross’s poems “… offer the reader a fantastic kaleidoscope of sharp images. The language of this master poet bends him to his will with an assault of sometimes uncomfortable true images. The lines are pure excitement.
Jerome called his poems, “masterful.” They engage the imagination and open up perspectives for reflection. The poet has created delightful images around original subjects with a clever and gifted understanding of language.
Three student finalists were selected out of 21 finalists. The first finalist was Annika Crawford, 11th grade, George School, with her three titles, “A Rape Girl is a Field After a Battle”, “Aurora / Chairlift Soliloquy” and “Dissonance”. The second finalist was Madeline Yates, Grade 11, Central Bucks High School West, with her three titles, “Matcha Tea”, “In All Honesty”, “Autumn’s Good Morning”. The third finalist was Rhianna Searle, Grade 10, George School, with her three titles, “Pray”, “Snow Day” and “Separation”.