I It meant so much to me to be asked to judge this contest. I know many children live in a world where they are second-class citizens, a world where their voices are silenced. I know that poetry and storytelling is a powerful way for young people to break silence, to hone and own their truths, to speak out against injustice, and to speak up for love and respect. I am proud to support these young people who are in the foster care system, and I am full of appreciation for their powerful poems. I appreciate very much the vision of Amanda Oliver, Team Leader for the Foster Parent Recruitment Retention and Training Team who recruits new foster parents in Vancouver and Richmond. Amanda championed the CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN FOSTER CARE POETRY CONTEST and made it a reality. I hope it can be an annual event. If you would like more information about being a foster parent in our community please call (604) 775-2169.
Although these young people’s full names must be kept confidential, I have permission to share their work, below. In their poems you will see pain and resilience, love and courage, and an emerging knowledge of the transformative power of metaphor, of rhythm, of the gifts of poetry. Kira is the winner for the under 13 category, Diana, is the winner for the age 13-19 category, and Star is in the young adult category (over 19). I wish them all the very best.
"Bedtime" by Star