Water Poem Contest

Poetry Winners Back Row: Jackson Barnes, Octavia McKenzie, Stephanie Jordan, James Thomas Fletcher. Front Row: Eleanor Yates (standing in for her sister Adeline), Silas Jackson, Hannah Coffelt, Harley Lee, and Iris Craver (PHOTO by MAREA BREEDLOVE)

In conjunction with the Locust Grove Arts Alliance hosting of the Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit , ROMP sponsored a poetry contest on the theme of water.

There were 228 entries from around the world, and the winners were announced and awarded cash prizes totaling $790 on Oct. 21, at the opening celebration for the exhibit in Locust Grove. Congratulations!

Water Poem Contest Winners

 K-4th Grade                   Judge: Shaun Perkins

1st, Adeline Yates, Locust Grove, “Water Ways”

2nd, Silas Jackson, Grove, “Water”

3rd, Ezer Gregory, Oklahoma City, “Ocean Creatures”


5th-8th Grade                 Judge: Bill McCloud

 1st, Zoe Easky, Locust Grove, “Water”

2nd, Jackson Barnes, Locust Grove, “The Traits of Water”

3rd, Hannah Coffelt, Locust Grove, “Rain”

Honorable Mention, Aydin Colvin, Locust Grove, “Water Dance of the Dogs”

Honorable Mention, Almirah Nguyen, Locust Grove, “Water”


9th-12th Grade               Judge: Morris McCorvey

1st, Laynee Wessel, Stillwater, “I Sat on the Beach Once”

2nd, Harley Lee, Bluejacket, “Water: Life or Death”

3rd, Hayden Jones, Bluejacket, “Clean Water, Nasty Water”

Honorable Mention, Taegan Smallwood, Locust Grove, “Water”

Honorable Mention, Riley Macy, Grove, “Water”


Adult                              Judge: Jeanetta Calhoun Mish

  1. Stephanie Jordan, OKC, “The Rain Gods”
  2. Darla Bennett, Muskogee, “The Flood”
  3. Iris Craver, Lawrence, KS, “Holy Water”


Professional                 Judge: Roxann Yates

1st, Ann Weisman, Tulsa, “I Can Be Like Water”

2nd, James Thomas Fletcher, Edmond, “Skinny Dipping”

3rd,  Octavia Mckenzie, Tulsa, “Endless Sea”

Winning Water Poems (PDF)

The Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibition dives into water–an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically.

In societies across the globe, water serves as a source of peace and contemplation. Many faiths revere water as a sacred symbol. Authors and artists are inspired by the complex character of water – a substance that is seemingly soft and graceful that is yet a powerful and nearly unstoppable force.

Water also plays a practical role in American society. The availability of water affected settlement and migration patterns. Access to water and control of water resources have long been a central part of political and economic planning.


Water/Ways has been made possible in Locust Grove, Oklahoma, by Oklahoma Humanities.

Water/Ways is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

Water/Ways was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (www.amnh.org), and the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul (www.smm.org), in collaboration with Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland; The Field Museum, Chicago; Instituto Sangari, Sao Paulo, Brazil; National Museum of Australia, Canberra; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada; San Diego Natural History Museum; and Science Centre Singapore with PUB Singapore.