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MBNEP announces winners of poetry contest

Posted: Monday, Jun 29th, 2015

Photo Contributed by Rachel Pass FROM LEFT: Eva Moylan, George Asdel, K. Rowe Morris, Lauren Tarica and Michael Blanchard were all winners at the MBNEP poetry contest.

In honor of its 20th anniversary, the Morro Bay National Estuary hosted a poetry contest and has chosen the winners out of nearly 100 entries.

The contest featured poetry written by children and adults, celebrating the Morro Bay National Estuary by writing haikus and free-verse poems with the estuary in mind. Rachel Pass, Communications and Outreach Coordinator for MBNEP, was one of four judges who selected winners along with Youssef Alaoui, Rob Seitz and Kevin Patrick Sullivan.

“This year we received almost 100 entries, and all of the poems captured the spirit of the estuary,” Pass said. “The high quality of the work made it hard to choose winning poems. However, our judges, Yousef Alaoui, Rob Seitz, Kevin Patrick Sullivan, and myself, were up to the task. We have read and scored each of the entries and the results are in!”

The Free Flowing category asked adults and kids to write free-verse poems using the estuary as a theme. For the adults, Marnie L. Parker of San Luis Obispo won, with her poem “Blue Sanctuary.” According to Pass, Marnie is an avid reader and writer of poetry.

“She has had a variety of her fiction, non-fiction, and poetry published locally,” Pass said." K. Rowe Morris of Morro Bay earned the Adult Free Flowing runner-up spot for herpoem, ‘Listen. K.’ and is currently writing a fractured fairytale based on the story of ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff.’”

The Youth Free Flowing category winner was 14-year-old Lauren Tarica, with her poem “Tidal Song.” According to Pass this young lady really enjoys writing and has kept a travel journal, in which she writes and draws, since she was young.

Free Flowing category runner-up was 12-year-old Eva Moylan with her poem, “The Great Egret.” She attends Los Osos Middle School and in her mother’s words, she “is a budding scientist and artist.”

The next section of the contest required that writers submit a Haiku — a 17-syllable verse written in a 5-7-5 pattern and traditionally focus on nature.

This year’s Adult Haiku winner is George Asdel with his poem, ‘The Morro Bay Estuary.’ George Asdel is an award-winning poet and artist. He is a member of the Atascadero Writer’s Group, and shows his art and poems at the Gallery at Marina Square in Morro Bay. Lila Bhuta, of Los Osos, earned the Adult Haiku runner-up spot with her poem, ‘Estuary Life.’”

Haiku winner for the youth section was 14-year-old Nick Murphy, of Los Osos. Pass explained that Murphy enjoys writing and feels that it comes naturally to him. The Haiku runner-up was 13-year-old Michael Blanchard, of Los Osos.

Pass and all MBNEP members and personnel were very impressed with the submissions and thanked all at their June 19 poetry reading. This featured all winners and runners-up and was open to the public.

Morro Bay National Estuary Program is a non-regulatory, non-profit organization that brings together citizens, local government, non-profits, agencies, and landowners to protect and restore the Morro Bay Estuary for people and wildlife, all done by volunteers to keep Morro Bay clean and healthy since 1995.

To find out more about the Morro Bay National Estuary Program and its 20th anniversary events, visit mbnep.org. For questions, please contact Rachel Pass, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, at rpass@mbnep.org or call 772-3834.

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