The Poet Laureate Competition at Atkins
The WSFCS district sponsors the Poet Laureate competition each spring, and it is coordinated by teacher Robert March here at Atkins. Unlike with Poetry Out Loud, students write their own original poem for Poet Laureate, and it is read but not necessarily memorized. Devin Singleton, Atkins class of 2016 is the only Forsyth County student to ever finish in the district top three, two years in a row.
All poems that make it to the district level are also published in a book, with student artwork from our county's schools adorning the pages and back cover. In 2016, Atkins student Neil Williamson's work was chosen for the back cover.
The reigning 2018 and 2019 Atkins HS Poet Laureate is Marrianna Flores, whose poem in 2018 demolished racial stereotypes and challenges the notion of biological "race." Her "I am Poetry" from 2019 speaks about the enduring power of poetry to make a difference in the world. Flores also won the DISTRICT contest both years, and is the only student in the eleven-year history of the contest to win two years in a row.