SYR Announces Winners of Poetry Contest

Syracuse, New York –The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority (SRAA) announced today the winners of the second annual “Poetry in Flight” contest at Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR). The aviation/travel themed poetry contest is a celebration of “National Poetry Month” – observed each April – in conjunction with the YMCA of Central New York’s Downtown Writers Center (DWC), The River’s End Bookstore, Barnes & Noble, and Delta Air Lines.

The contest was expanded this year to a six-week submission window encompassing all of March and the first half of April. Additionally, more poets have received prizes for their works compared to the inaugural contest last year. At the close of the submission window, the painstaking process of reviewing and judging the poetry was conducted by a volunteer panel of local writers organized by the DWC. Poems were required to be aviation or travel themed and were accepted in two categories: Adult and Youth. The Youth category was comprised of students in grades 6-12.

The winners of this year’s “Poetry in Flight” contest are Vicki Wilson of Clinton, NY (Adult category) and 12th grader Elizabeth Van Buren of Jamesville-Dewitt High School (Youth category). Their poems – “Airborne” and “Tanka for the Airplane,” respectively – along with those of six selected finalists, are now displayed in the SYR terminal near the Regional Aviation Museum.

“We deeply appreciate all the poets who participated in the second annual edition of our Poetry in Flight contest,” said SRAA Executive Director Jason Terreri. “Displaying their work in our terminal exudes a sense of pride in our region that both visitors and locals alike can appreciate.”

The Youth category winner, Elizabeth, received a gift basket from Barnes and Noble, as well as one year of enrollment in the Young Authors Academy at the YMCA of CNY’s DWC in Syracuse. The winner of the adult category, Vicki, received a pair of round-trip plane tickets good for travel in the 48 contiguous states or Canada courtesy of Delta Air Lines.

Three selected finalists for each category – a total of six poets – will receive gift certificates to The River’s End bookstore in Oswego, NY.

“It’s such a delight to see this partnership continue,” said Phil Memmer, Executive Director of the Arts Branch of the YMCA of CNY. “Getting poetry into the lives of people is an important part of our mission at the YMCA’s Downtown Writers Center, and there aren’t many places in our region that are busier than our airport. What a pleasure it is to see poets recognized in such a very public place!”

For more information on the contest, including the winners’ and selected finalists’ poems, please visit the Poetry in Flight contest page.