Three middle school students have written Shakespearean sonnets that would make The Bard himself proud. Leilani Galles, grade 6, Jordin MacKenzie, grade 8, and Chetan Thomas, grade 6, are the top three winners in the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival Sonnet Contest.
Galles won first place for her Shakespearean sonnet, a 14-line poem that expresses emotion in specific rhyme and syllabic patterns, about her love of acting. MacKenzie won second place for her poem reflecting personal feelings. Thomas won third place for his poem about a less traditional subject.
“Pizza,” he said with a smile. “It was supposed to be about something I love, and I love pizza.”
The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival contest is open to all students in grades 4-12 in Kansas and Missouri. Barstow students won in the grade 4-8 division. Winners will be honored at a ceremony on Saturday, May 12, at the Johnson County Central Resource Library, where a professional actor will read the winning sonnets aloud. Following the ceremony, poems will be published on the festival website.