Sanford staff members place top two in Maine Poetry Contest

First-year English teacher and custodian take first and second place, respectively

Custodian Shaun Rowe left, and English teacher Anna Lane. Source: Keira Kilkenny


Two SHS staff members recently earned poetry honors by entering a contest with the Maine Poets Society in April. Anna Lane, a first-year English teacher at SHS, won first place, receiving a $50 dollar prize. Shaun Rowe, a custodian here, placed second.

Lane entered into this contest with her poem “It is a Matter of El Chucho” about a couple facing struggles through the symbolism of a stray dog. When asked about the meaning behind her poem, Lane said that it was inspired by a summer she spent in Guatemala teaching English in a small village. 

“I made quite a few friends and one of which I became very close with,” said Lane. “While this poem doesn’t truly reflect that relationship, it reflects really any relationship where someone felt like they were putting in more than the other person or where they felt like they were too fundamentally different from the other person.”

Lane hadn’t previously done anything with the Maine Poets Society, but she entered this contest because she wanted to see if her poems could “really amount to anything.” She entered, expecting not to hear back, but after she won, she realized that “maybe [her] poems have something that can speak to people universally.”

Ironically, Lane “hated poetry with a passion” in high school. She had always found it confusing, but in college, she had an English professor that would always encourage her to write more creatively. Lane said, “When he asked me to write an essay or book review, he truly wanted me to push the envelope as to how I could write an informative piece. His encouragement and expectations eventually led me to believe that I could write creatively and use my writing as an outlet to exercise my creativity.” 

She said that it wasn’t until her senior year that she turned her creative writing into poetry. Lane stated, “Since then, I have constantly tried to challenge myself with new forms of poetry and found it pretty exciting to do so.”

SHS custodian Shaun Rowe also entered the contest with his poem, “Dark Shadows” and won second place.

When asked about what inspired his poem, he responded, “It was actually describing the streets that I lived [in] when I was a kid.”

Rowe was vice president of the poetry club in high school, and continued writing poetry into college and now.

This was the first poetry contest, outside of a school event, that Rowe has participated in.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s