What it really consists of is three categories (Child, Young Adult, Adult) from each of which ten poems are chosen. These thirty are published, one per day throughout the month at all branches of the library, put together in a booklet, and read to an audience at a gala affair. I had the responsibility of chosing ten young adult entries; it was a matter of choice rather than judgement.
Some I liked. Some I didn't. Most fell in between the two. There was a lot of emotion but very little of the similes and metaphors that I tend to look for. I was happy when I found them, and found them well-used. I was less impressed by likes and dislikes expressed without using any poetc devices. End rhyme abounded but other sound facets of poetry: alliteration, assonance, internal rhyme, regular rhythms, were sadly lacking. Much of the appeal came to rest on pretty words.For better or for worse, ten were chosen. I understand that the other categories had similar concerns. There was some discussion about changing criteria, etc. but we decided to keep it as open as possible. We want to encourage writers but not by excluding any.
I guess I get to give a little praise/pep talk at the gala. I'll be short and kind. I hope they don't turn out to be too shy or lacking self-confidence to read to an audience.