St. Luke’s Episcopal School students Madeleine McCabe and Ethan Stone have been named winning poets in the San Antonio Public Library 2019 Young Pegasus Annual Poetry Competition. Established in 1927, Young Pegasus is the longest running youth poetry competition in the nation. SLES second graders McCabe and Stone were among 89 winning poets selected from over 1,700 entries citywide this year.
Last fall, second grade students at St. Luke’s began writing poetry in their language arts class under the direction of their teacher Cindy Zaldivar. Poetry is a highly valued component of the SLES curriculum – once a year every student in first through eighth grade performs a memorized poetry declamation before an audience in the school chapel. “A poetry lover myself, I have always been a strong advocate for teaching poetry in schools,” says Zaldivar. “Poems teach children grammar and phonics, strengthen reading skills, spark imagination and encourage even reluctant writers. I hoped my students would not only come to appreciate reading poetry, but also experience the joy of composing their own poems.” With her encouragement, Ms. Zaldivar’s students began writing poems in the classroom, on the playground and at home on whatever topics inspired them. Two of these students, classmates
Madeleine McCabe and Ethan Stone, are now Young Pegasus poets.
Every year, thousands of poets ages 18 and under submit their poems to the SAPL Young Pegasus Poetry Competition. McCabe and Stone were among 89 winning poets selected by an independent judging panel, which reviewed more than 1,700 poems this year. As a further honor, both McCabe’s and Stone’s poems were among the 67 poems chosen for publication in the 93rd Young Pegasus Anthology, now available for check out at the San Antonio Public Library. They join previous Young Pegasus poets, including former San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros and poet, songwriter and novelist Naomi Shihab Nye. On May 5, McCabe and Stone recited their poems in the Guadalupe Theater at the 2019 Young Pegasus Awards Ceremony.