Announcing the 2023 Methodist College Poetry Contest Winners

Announcing the 2023 Methodist College Poetry Contest Winners

The winners of this summer’s Methodist College Let Lit Rule Poetry Contest have been announced!  The event is sponsored by the Center for Student Success, the Library and MBS Direct, the college's textbook vendor partner. The first place poem was titled “The up and down affect” by Shanatta Smith. The second place poem was “Camden” by Emily Collins, and third place was “Hollow Cross” by Kiara Pauli. Congratulations to the winners!

In addition to being selected as the winning poem the winners received a voucher from MBS to be used for textbooks this semester. The first place winner received a $100 voucher, second place winner received a $75 voucher, and third place won a $50 voucher.

The annual contest was developed as a way to keep students engaged with the campus community over the summer. The contest also shows students the importance of general education courses and provides them a creative outlet. Entries had to be original student work, students could submit one poem, and the work was judged on creativity, language, quality, and originality of theme.

1st Place Winning Poem: 

The up and down affect by Shanatta Smith

Drugs, drugs, drugs, who needs drugs?

For the pain, to maintain!

For treatment.

To cure, for sure!

For prevention, to ease the tension!


To enhance your physical or mental wellbeing.

Causing an effect on how your brain works, how you feel or behave.

Turning you into a slave!

Providing an understanding, they can be demanding!

They are unpredictable, so despicable!

Drugs, drugs, drugs, who needs drugs?

Absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted.

This is the journey through the body, which affects everybody!

Causing damage along the way, if abused or misused!

So don’t be confused!

Before you medicate, educate!

Pharmacology is messing with my psychology!

I need an apology!

Did I mention I hate pharmacology?

2nd Place Winning Poem:

Camden by Emily Collins

Carrying you 19 weeks, 
To some only just a brief time. 
You my son, completed me.

But then out of the blue,
The pain immensely grew,
It all went too quick,
Too fast,
You were gone, just like that.

Suddenly, a silent room,
No voices could form a word.

Your tiny little heart left us.
There was no warning.

Now the only thing left,
A small, cold room, of just heavy hearts.

Oh, the dreams you never dreamt.
The cries you never wept.

What I do know is,
Your tiny little heart touched so many.
This I know is True,
Our hearts will forever have a place for you.

3rd Place Winning Poem

Hollow Cross – by Kiara Pauli

After Ashlee Haze’s “temple”

The pastor says

go with peace, my child

and I wonder what it must be like

to hold onto a thing that would never be mine

His words will not protect my mind

Scorched walls in my home still remain

The blood in the carpet will still

crunch dry under my feet

For weeks my mother, the pastor, and I

prayed in the front pews of the chapel,

clasped hands and bowed heads,

for His answer or a renewal of hope

My prayers turned cold

with the wait on the floor

beneath the hollow wooden cross,

where they tell you to lay burdens down

And I wonder what it means

to leave a church feeling empty

when the pastor says you are now free

Perhaps freedom is learning

to be that wooden cross

Perhaps Jesus took our sins

so that we could be hollow

and embrace nothingness as our new state of ‘peace’

Perhaps it hangs in the front of the church

as a reminder of what we must become

Come, sit at the foot of the cross

Meet your altar of peace and be free