Gennika Strickland, a 12-year-old 7th grader at Isle of Hope Elementary School, has been chosen as the Second Prize winner of the Georgia Poetry Society’s prestigious Marel Brown Poetry Contest for grades 6 through 8. Gennika has been invited to receive the award and read her prize-winning poem, “Hush Puppies,” at the society’s April 25th meeting at the Classic Center in Athens, Georgia. “Hush Puppies” will be published in the society’s annual anthology, The Reach of Song, in July 2015. A list of all the winners can be viewed on the society’s website.

Gennika Strickland

“I feel so happy and proud to have won this award,” says Gennika of the honor. “When I first joined Deep I was worried it might not be fun. But the more I wrote the more fun I had.”

Gennika was one of more than 150 students who participated in Deep Center’s fall semester 2014 Young Author Project. Works by all participating students are published in four anthologies, which are on sale for $12 here (for Gennika’s book choose “Southside”) and in circulation within the Live Oak Public Library system.