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    Gonzaga poets named Parkmont Poetry Competition finalists


    Poetry is an excellent way for one to express themselves and deliver meaningful words in a unique style. Recently, five poets at Gonzaga have been named finalists in the annual Parkmont Poetry Competition. This is a huge accomplishment, as the Parkmont Poetry Competition is a prestigious event with great recognition and history in the D.C. area. 

    The poets who received the honor of finalist hold poetry close to their hearts and use it to make a difference. Seniors Richard Scott, Michael McKnight, Axel Chicas, Ish O’Neal and Hector Reyes were all honored with being named Parkmound Poetry Competition finalists. 

    “We had about five finalists last year as well; it means a lot for these guys to be named finalists. It is great for their confidence and skills to receive affirmation from someone who is not affiliated with Gonzaga and does not know them,” said Mr. Joe Ross, English teacher.

    These poets wrote about a variety of topics.

    “I wrote about the death of Tyre Nickels; writing about racial injustice is my niche. Being named finalist is pretty important to me. I did not get it last year, so I am really glad that I accomplished it this year,”  said Richard Scott, senior. 

    Scott is a leader in the poetry community at Gonzaga, takes an ITE in poetry and  is the Onyx Club. He is very vocal about racial injustice in America and in our community. 

    “I wrote a piece on how to be black in America. It was kind of satirical, but I used real world examples to highlight the injustice,” Scott said. 

    Poetry is an excellent way to speak on topics that are uncomfortable for many people to talk about or issues that do not get enough attention. Many of the poets at Gonzaga utilize poetry as a vehicle to accomplish this. 

    Another way poets utilize poetry is for self expression. 

    “I like to write poems about myself because I know myself the best. When you sit down and write a poem about something you really start looking at the details and start to appreciate what is around you,” said Axel Chicas, senior. 

    This Parkmont Competition is not just a chance at an award; it has a much deeper meaning to some. 

    “At first I would just submit my assignments. I did not think I was gonna win the competition at all. The fact that somebody took the time out of their day and appreciated my poem means a lot to me,” Chicas said, who is in Mr. Joe Ross’s Poetry Writing class.. 

    Another senior who likes to use poetry to shine light on darker topics that do not receive enough attention is senior Michael Mcknight.

    “My favorite thing to write poetry about is the things people do not want to write about, you know, darker subjects. I prefer war and violence because it kind of just shows what people want to cover up. I think it is important to talk about those things,” McKnight said. 

    McKnight is also a leader of the Onyx Club at Gonzaga and has a voice in speaking on racial injustice across the community. McKnight uses his voice in poetry to try to spread his words of inspiration to those across the nation. 

    “It means a lot to me to be named a Parkmont finalist. I want to be recognized for my leadership and my talent. It means a lot to have that type of appreciation for my work. Poetry is a way to write without restraints, you are able to create a foundation by putting your pen to the paper and that is important to me,” McKnight said. 

    These poets have all made Gonzaga eternally proud and have made great contributions to the poetry community. Their work will serve as great competition among the other Parkmont finalists, as the seniors continue to impact Gonzaga in their final days on Eye Street. 

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