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Poets Honor Amy Marie Watkins

By Hannah Jacobs, marketing and communications intern
LJCDS students showcase their work in the 2020 Amy Marie Watkins Poetry competition.

Every year, the LJCDS Humanities Department sponsors The Amy Marie Watkins Poetry competition in honor of Amy Marie Watkins, an LJCDS student, poet, actress and musician, who tragically died in a car accident in 1987 at the age of 17. 

The Amy Marie Watkins Poetry competition received an impressive number of submissions from students across many different private schools in San Diego this year. Each student who placed in the competition received a monetary prize for their efforts. For the first time in many years, this year’s winners and honorable mentions were all from La Jolla Country Day School.  

Jennifer Coburn, a USA Today bestselling author of six novels and a contributor to four literary anthologies, was the judge for the 2020 Amy Marie Watkins Poetry competition. She is also a prolific author of articles placed in dozens of national and regional publications. Ms. Coburn has received awards from the Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists for articles in The Miami Herald, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Salon.com, and The Huffington Post, among others. 
Ms. Coburn notes that first-place winner Walter Chen’s poem “Strands” is “beautiful and hypnotic, reminiscent of the act of weaving.” She commented that second-place winner Michelle Coad’s “Seasons” offers “vivid imagery and lyrical prose,” bringing an even greater beauty to the piece with its artistic formatting. Anna Sassine’s third-place “Palestine” is both “raw and unpretentious in its telling, tragic and hopeful.” Lauren Miller’s honorable mention “One Sunny Afternoon” is at once “sweet and sad,” an impressive balance and an important message in this challenging time.  

Read the winning entries here:

Strands” by Walter Chen '21

Seasons by Michelle Coad '20

Palestine” by Anna Sassine '21

One Sunny Afternoon” by Lauren Miller '21