At the 2018 Maine Literary Awards ceremony on June 14th, Maine Coast Waldorf School rising senior Wilson Haims won the Youth Short Works Category for her poem “Army of Songbirds.” (Her poem is included below.) The Maine Literary Awards is an annual state-wide competition sponsored by the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. The 2018 awards honor books published during 2017, as well as adult and youth manuscripts in drama, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
Wilson has long enjoyed writing poetry and fiction. In 2014 she was accepted into The Telling Room’s Young Emerging Authors Program. During that time, she wrote and published a book in one year. This spring, she attended the 2018 New England Young Writer’s Conference at Bread Loaf in Vermont where she focused on poetry.
An added highlight during the awards ceremony was that the Maine Poets Society announced that Maine Coast Waldorf School Humanities teacher David Sloan won the top prize in their inaugural poetry contest for his poem “Going like Gaudi.”
We send our heartfelt congratulations to both Wilson and Mr. Sloan!
An Army of Songbirds
by Wilson Haims
Like a barrel of powder pink bouncy balls
tipped over, down the flights of stairs
and into the underground city,
We all stood waiting
shoulder to shoulder, voice over voice,
the scent of cigarettes mingling
with outbreaths of protest,
all of us packed to the curb like sun-sweetened
grapes being pressed into wine,
pressed into one. We became
an army of songbirds, the trumpet moaning
above us “We shall overcome,”
and we followed that melody,
signs held high, hearts pumping frothy cream soda
and resistance through our veins,
wearing orange slice smiles dripping with pride,
because for that moment, we were the resistance,
a nation of cat-hatted, nasty women
who strode with a purpose down the roads
of revolution like red-lipped Paul Reveres
lighting the world on fire,
as if to say,
the British are coming. We are coming.
(After the event, Wilson was featured in the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Audience section. You may access the article by clicking here.)