Poetry Contest


Our annual French Poetry Contest was launched three years ago with the partnership of the Department of French and Francophone Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS). This year’s contest took place March 16 in the Irvine Auditorium at MIIS. Fifty-two candidates from regional schools and universities took part, contributing either an original poem of their pen or reciting a famous poem from French or Francophone literature. In each category (Middle School, High School, University) and at each level of study of the French language (beginner, intermediate, advanced) trophies were awarded to the winners of first, second and third prizes, as well as numerous honorable mentions. The enthusiasm and joy of candidates, added to the numerous and vigorous applause from the audience – composed of parents, teachers and friends – ensured the success of the contest.

We are very grateful to the distinguished teachers Edgard Coly and John Hedgcock from MIIS, and Professor and poet Toni O’Meara, our judges who took the time to read and evaluate original poems, and then listen and judge the recitations. We thank Mrs. Christiane d’Olive, poet, who graciously honored the assistance of his presence.

Our thanks also go to:

  • Poetry Contest Committee: Linda Madsen, Michele Neisess Gisele Kapuscinski and Catherine Zahm,
  • Christine Campbell and Marie-France de Sibert who served refreshments at intermission
  • Both MIIS students that assured the operation of the Contest: Leslie Hayner assumed the role of hostess and Tovivo Gael accompanied candidates on stage to adjust their microphones.

But above all we want to thank the teachers who encouraged their students to participate in this contest and have brought so much dedication to prepare them:

Sylvie Horning – All Saints Day School,
Melissa Olvera – Alisal High School
Leslie Long – Everett Alvarez High School
Anne O’Dowd – Santa Catalina High School
Kevin Schroedter – Robert Louis Stevenson High School
Michèle Neisess – Defense Language Institute
Lisa Gonzales – Monterey Penisula College

We hope to see all these people – as well as new schools and new candidates – at our fourth French poetry contest next year.