Nearly all the chosen writers came. There were several incentives to make the evening well-attended. Primary, of course, was the chance to present their work in public. It surprised me how most, including the youngsters, were more comfortable with a microphone than I expected. While the applause still rang, they were whisked to a room away from the auditorium to again read and have their voices recorded. This would be posted on the library's web site.Another plus for those attending was the publication of a chapbook anthology containing all thirty poems prepared for the occasion by Serengeti Press. It provided a record of the poems and the event that will last long past electronic records, and perhaps longer than some of the memories.As a judge, I was asked to comment on the category's entries before the young adults presented their poems. I noticed the other judges had prepared comments but I had not. It didn't bother me. Sometimes comments made "off the cuff" can be just as meaningful and more immediate.
Would I do it again? Just ask me. In fact, the Hamilton Public Library just did, lining up judges for their next Power of the Pen for young adults this fall. I accepted.