A marketing copywriter with a health care firm in Plymouth, Minn., and a homeschool student in Charleston took the tops prizes in the 3rd Annual Garden of Romance Poetry Contest sponsored by Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
Josh Crain of Burnsville, Minn., won first place in the adult division with “An Invitation to Examine [the Garden’s Lovely Ways]. The first-place prize is $500.
Charleston resident Grace Daniels, a homeschool student, won the first-place prize in the youth division with “Nature’s Song.” She will receive an iPad. The judges also selected three other poems penned by Daniels for a third-place prize and two honorable mention prizes.
The other winning entries in the adult division are:
· -Carole Strickland, Wadmalaw Island, S.C. second place, $300, “Awakened to the Joy”
· -Catherine Cummings, Marietta, Ga., third place, $200, “The Garden Sprite”
Honorable mention winners – $50 prizes – are:
· -Pam Stuart, Summerville, S.C., “Magnolia, If I had Known”
· -Maria Martin, Charleston, S.C. “Sonnet Written Among the Blooms of Magnolia Gardens”
· -Andrea Roberts, Myrtle Beach, S.C. “From John to Julia”
· -Karen LoCicero, Mount Pleasant, S.C. “Magnolia’s Dreams”
· -Charles Moore, Wadmalaw Island, S.C., “The Gardens Of My Mind”
The other winning entries in the youth division are:
· -Lauren Koch, Evansville, Ind., second place, $200, “Our Home”
· -Grace Daniels, third place, $100, “I am”
Honorable mention winners – annual family membership to Magnolia – are:
· -Grace Daniels, “If,” “Ageless Paradise” and “In the Blink of an Eye”
· -Amos Hay, Singapore, “La Douleur Exquise”
· -Rachel Daniels, Charleston, S.C., “My Little Shining Star”
Entries in the adult division were judged by Katrina Murphy, vice president of the Poetry Society of South Carolina, and Emily Davis-Fletcher, freelance poet and writer. Youth division poems were judged by Donna Adams, reference and young adult librarian, Otranto Road Regional Library in North Charleston, and Willette Wilkins, creative writing teacher, North Charleston Cultural Arts Department.
Magnolia is America’s last large-scale romantic-style garden. The contest was open to poems that emulate the style of romance poets William Wordsworth, Ashley Tennyson and Percy Bysshe Shelley. A Wordsworth quote inscribed on a small sign at Magnolia’s entrance reads: “Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.”
The Rev. John Grimké Drayton is credited with adopting a romantic style of gardening at Magnolia after visiting Europe in the 1800s as the Romantic Movement swept Europe and America. In addition to garden design, the Romantic Movement also touched many aspects of European and American society and inspired poetry.
The winning poems will be posted on Magnolia’s Facebook page, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, and website, www.magnoliaplantation.com.