Student Poets

Kentucky, Sarabande in Education, Student Poets, Bruckheimer Series

Why Support Sarabande on October 1?

We create vital local programming.

Our educational and outreach projects reinforce our mission to connect new audiences with literature. While our web-based Sarabande in Education program serves as a global resource, the majority of our initiatives are aimed at engaging the Louisville community. Click below to learn more about our local programming.

How to give:

On October 1, 2015, Sarabande Books is participating in Give Local Louisville, a one-day-only philanthropy event. Learn more and donate RIGHT HERE!

Sarabande Writing Labs, Student Poets, Support Sarabande

Sarabande Writing Labs at Waggener High School

Sarabande Writing Labs is an arts education program serving under-resourced communities in Kentucky through creative writing workshops.

We at Sarabande Writing Labs were thrilled when Waggener High's after-school creative writing club invited us to come write poetry with them for an afternoon! We read Anna McDonald's awesome poem, "Horse Piano," (check it out here!) and talked about figurative expressions, specificity, suspense-building, and surprise. Then, working as a group, we wrote our own poem borrowing elements that we liked from "Horse Piano." Please enjoy "Ghost House," by the Waggener High School creative writing club!


Ghost House

The idea is to find an old house, a house
          where somebody once died:

you draw a pentagram on the ground and burn 
          a white cylinder of sage

and when the ghost appears, carrying his 
          tattered leather suitcase

he will shake your hand and tell you
          you are a good person

and six months later, when you can’t remember
          whose ratty old t-shirt is whose or a time

you didn’t love him, he will tell you he must return
          to the astral plane

and you will cover the walls with pentagrams
          and fill the house with sage, its minty-sweet aroma
          pouring from the windows

and you will light the house on fire

so that everyone will know how hard it is
          to give up the ghost.

Student Poets, Events

Our Annual Pie Party: Sarabande Celebrates 2012 Flo Gault Poetry Prize Winners

This past Sunday all the Sarabandistas had the chance to sit back, relax, and enjoy a whole bunch of pie in celebration of some mighty fine Kentucky students. Every year we throw a party–yes, a pie-themed party–for the winners of our Flo Gault Student Poetry Contest. Thanks to a handful of local restaurants, pizzerias, and bakeries like Lilly’sCafé FraicheProof on MainStellar Sweets, and Heine Brothers’ Coffee, we’re able to provide delicious pies of many varieties to our honored guests.


Each year we award the students with cash prizes; first place receives a printed broadside of his/her winning poem. Western Kentucky swept the competition in 2012 and Haley Edwards of WKU came away with First Prize and a broadside (see below) printed at Hound Dog Press for her poem, “Portrait of My Mother in Cigarette Ashes.” 

A bonus to this year’s party was the appearance of duPont Manual high school students, Emily McConville and Zoe Schaver, editors of the The Red Pen. Emily, Zoe and other staff of The Red Pen were recently awarded the Courage in Journalism Award for thwarting censorship imposed by their administration to publish a volume of their publication based around LGBT issues. After reading about their struggle and triumph, Sarabande decided to lend a helping hand by awarding the staff with a small donation toward the Pen’s printing costs for their next issue. 

Student Poets

Results of the 2012 Flo Gault Student Poetry Contest


We are pleased to report that judging is complete! This year we had the largest number of submissions in the history of this contest, including one package filled with the poems of an entire classroom from Western Kentucky University. If you read on to the list of winners below, you can see that the attention this teacher gave our contest really paid off; WKU swept the competition! Dr. Tom C. Hunley is a teacher, author, and a real champion of contemporary poetry. Our hats are off to you, Dr. Hunley! Here’s hoping that more teachers will follow your lead in the years to come.

Winner of first prize will receive a check for $500 and fifty copies of a letterpress broadside from Hound Dog Press. Second and third prize winners will receive $200 and $100, respectively. In addition, several honorable mentions will each be awarded $50. All poems will appear on our Flo Gault Student Poetry Prize page. The winners will receive their awards at a celebration in their honor February 24, 2013. Details to follow.

The results:

First Prize: “Portrait of My Mother in Cigarette Ashes,” by Haley Edwards (Western Kentucky University)

Second Prize: “Check out that fish,” by Paul Shirley (Western Kentucky University)

Third Prize: “3052 HWY 39 Somerset, Kentucky,” by Jarred Johnson (Western Kentucky University)

“Crow,” by Kevin Bailey (University of Louisville)

Honorable Mentions:

“Ursa Rising,” by Rina Perlin (University of Louisville)
“Lethologica,” by Brittany Cheak (Western Kentucky University)
“Constructing the Eulogy,” by Meg Kennedy (Western Kentucky University)
“My Coop,” by Shyla Washington (Western Kentucky University)

Please look for compete guidelines next fall. Our thanks for your submissions!