I thought you might be interested in what Dan Lamberton, the judge of the poetry section had to say about our entries. Apparently he know a lot more about poetry than I do:
"Glen, I go on sabbatical tomorrow, so I read the poems today. They appear to be poems typical of open-ended contests. I've worked on journals where thousands of submissions would come in for only 100 slots or so, but most of the submissions weren't publishable anyway. That's the way it is up here when I make a call for poems; most come from students who've emoted privately, believing their codes will strike up feelings in others, if they think of readers at all. So what we end up publishing are the poems we go after, the poems from poetry class, the poems from alumni who write well. The poems you sent me were typical of open ended solicitations. They are not very good. I selected three that stuck to their subjects or that showed some love for language. The first place poem shows the latter. The other two were of a piece. If I could make a suggestion for your future contests, I'd say to display a few lines from student work you admire. Let the applicants know what you're after. I hope this helps. I did write on the poems as I was reading them, but I don't think my comments would be encouraging, and more instructive comments need context."
He goes on to name the winners, which I will share with you and the rest of the school next Thursday at assembly.