If you're a student in grades 6 through 12, and a budding writer, better yet, a poet, this is your time to shine.

April is National Poetry Month, and the Kent District Library, KDL, is having their ninth annual Word Wise Teen Poetry contest.

From April 1 to April 30, KDL wants to see "what you've got."  They're inviting all teens to submit their original poems, either online or at their local KDL branch.

Guest judge is David Cope, Grand Rapids Poet Laureate, a close friend of the late great Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, and an enthusiastic supporter of new writing talent.  He will read all entries and determine the winners.  They will be announced mid-May.   Each of the six winners will receive a $50 gift card to Schuler Books & Music.  In addition, the winning poems will be published on the KDL website.

You can check out KDL's  teen page for a complete list of rules and an online entry form.

All KDL locactions have teen poetry books available if young poets out there need a little inspiration.  The staff will be happy to help.

Best wishes, poets!