Windward Community College hosts Star Poets 2005 Reading/Awards Ceremony

Windward Community College
Libby Young, (808) 235-7396
Windward Community College
Jill Wheatman, (808) 523-2136
Starbucks Coffee Hawaii
Posted: May 11, 2005

KANEOHE, Oahu Poetry lovers of all ages are invited to a "Star Poets Celebration" at Windward Community College‘s (WCC) Paliku Theatre, sponsored by WCC and Starbucks Coffee Hawaii, on Sunday, May 15.

The event will include free poetry mini-sessions open to students, teachers and parents from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., and a reading and awards ceremony at 3 p.m. to honor the winners of the 6th annual Star Poets contest.

Among the workshop leaders will be acclaimed author Lois-Ann Yamanaka and Mel Spencer of Naʻau Learning Center*; Sue Cowing, poet and editor of "Fire in the Sea;" Poet-in-the Schools leader Susan Lee St. John; Punahou School teacher and author Joe Tsujimoto; Kamiloiki School teacher Corinne Misaki-Wingert; and Iolani School creative writing teacher Gail Schroers. ( * The Naʻau workshop is already filled from advance registration; however, the others are still open.)

WCC and Starbucks will honor 71 student winners of the statewide contest with cash prizes totaling more than $1,500 awarded to 34 winners and 37 honorable mentions. Another $6,050 in cash awards will go to the students‘ schools to support literacy programs.

The students‘ pieces were chosen from more than 3,000 entries submitted by Hawaii public and private school students in grades three through 12. They capture the thoughts and feelings of young people growing up in the islands.

"The poems are so honest that‘s the beauty of poetry," said WCC Chancellor Angela Meixell. "We‘re thrilled with how the project keeps growing."

In addition to the cash awards, the program also offers students the chance to be published in a journal distributed to all island Starbucks stores and to have their work posted online.

Also available this year will be a new poetry resource guide filled with ideas for teaching poetry to students from kindergarten through high school. WCC graphic artist Bonnie Beatson designed the 36-page booklet edited by WCC professor and Star Poets coordinator Libby Young.

The guide will be printed with a $10,000 Starbucks Foundation grant and distributed to all school libraries in Hawaiʻi.

Jill Wheatman, Starbucks marketing manager, explained the project has become a real partnership to support reading, writing and creative thinking among students.

"Starbucks Coffee is dedicated to supporting literacy efforts in Hawaiʻi," she said. "We hope to continue the growth of this program in the years to come."

For more details on the May 15 event, call 235-7396 or email All winning poems, including honorable mention pieces, will also be posted on Windward Community College‘s website at by the end of June.

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