Holguin is the 2018 Poet Laureate


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The winner of the La Quinta High School Poet Laureate contest this year was Katryna Holguin ‘18. Her first entry was titled “Dance with Death.”

The top ten students also included Aidan Wilson ‘20, Isabella Galvan ‘20, Jada Olivarez ‘20, Daelynn McLean ‘21, Ruben Gutierrez ‘21, Serena Gomez ‘21, Mlen Azurin ‘18, Leandro Bosquez ‘21, Mikayla Fazzone ‘21, and Emely Sanchez ‘19.

English teacher Mrs. Chesebrough coordinated the contest by submitting the poems, a total of 264 entries this year, to the White Water Writers group, who select the top ten poets using a points system. “There was a nice variety from all of the classes. Usually, we only get upperclassmen, but this year we got a good mix of all four grade levels,” she explained.

In April, the finalists were invited to a pizza luncheon, a guest speaker was invited, and the winner of the contest was announced by last year’s poet laureate, Drew Patterson ‘20. The guest speaker this year was Tammy Coia, a memoir writer and teacher, who spoke about her writing experience and gave advice to the student-poets. “Real writing is in the rewriting,” she said. “Find your own voice. When you write, you shouldn’t hear Shakespeare. You should hear your own voice in your writing.”

Enclosed is her first entry, a lyrical ballad, for your reading pleasure:

“Dance with Death,” by Katryna Holguin

All around the land did sleep,
The wind its solemn breath.
Beneath my feet some life still creeped
Among the doleful dead.

The moon was high, its light still nigh
When drums began to beat.
We reached up high to touch the sky
And landed on our feet

We danced around, the ghosts and I
Until time seemed to stop.
We gamboled on til time drew nigh
And slowed down to a hop.

The sun arose, me feet shown bare
As they began to leave.
The final time was truly here
Without true time to grieve.

My last farewell, final adieu
To this world that I love,
Fore the sun I flew too close to
Had burned me to the touch.

Correction: The digital version of this article misspelled the poet laureate’s given name. She is Katryna Holguin, not Katrina.