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Friday, May 9, 2014 09:01 am

Poetry in pictures

Illustration contest winners announced

This just in:

A contest encouraging children to illustrate the poetry of Vachel Lindsay generated 200 submissions of turtles, crows and other colorful critters. The top 15 drawings will be recognized at a special event May 18.

The free event includes family-friendly performances of poetry in addition to awards for the children. Sponsored by the Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site and the Vachel Lindsay Association, it takes place at 2 p.m. at the offices of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (313 S. Sixth Street, Springfield).

The illustration contest had three divisions open to Springfield-area schools. Children in kindergarten and first grade illustrated Lindsay’s “The Little Turtle.” First place in that category went to Reid Craddle of Cathedral School; second went to Sophia Cathers of Blessed Sacrament; third went to Jada Jackson of Iles; and honorable mentions were given to Julie Logan of Ball Charter and Josh Moore of Cathedral.



Students in second, third and fourth grades produced drawings for “Two Old Crows.” First place went to Brady Isenburg of Rochester; second went to Makenna Yeager of Glenwood; third went to Camryn Patterson of Glenwood; and honorable mentions were given to Lorelei Lupo-Spinasanta of Cathedral and Cathy Yang of Iles.

Fifth- and sixth-graders illustrated “The Spider and the Ghost of the Fly.” Zoe Roderick of Cathedral School took first place. Second place went to Katie Carstens of Cathedral; third went to Kaitlyn Fitzgerald of Cathedral; and honorable mentions went to Joey Gibson and Sean Utterback, both of Cathedral.


 Each first-, second- and third-place student artist will receive copies of Lindsay’s children’s poetry, collected in “The Yellow Book” and “The Little Turtle,” along with a Barnes and Noble gift card.

Judges for this year’s contest were Allison Lacher (UIS Visual Arts Gallery), Marianne Stremsterfer (Lead Art Faculty at Benedictine University at Springfield) and Priscilla Weaver (Benedictine University art student).

“It was a pleasure to see such fine art work from the entrants. The students were truly invested in the poetry of Vachel Lindsay, and my congratulations to the artists, their teachers and parents," Stremsterfer said.

The Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site, operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. for free public tours. The home, located at 603 South Fifth Street in Springfield, was built about 1850. Lindsay was born there in 1879 and took his own life there in 1931.

Vachel Lindsay, known as the “Prairie Troubadour” for his walking tours of the country, achieved national fame in 1913. Lindsay called himself a “rhymer-designer” and created drawings to accompany his poems.

He was a leading voice in the American “New Poetry” movement, with a total published work of some 20 volumes of poetry and prose. Lindsay and other major artists of his day championed a new language to tackle new subjects, such as civil liberties and environmental blight.

For more information, visit http://www.vachellindsay.org/

Send poems or blog post ideas to astienstra@illinoistimes.com.

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