PRESS RELEASE: Safety Harbor Public Library announces winners of National Poetry Month Contest

in news/town square

April was National Poetry Month and every year the Safety Harbor Public Library hosts an open mic poetry celebration. This year, however, the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic but the library managed to celebrate the community’s love of poetry a different way during this time of social distancing. The community was asked to express how they were feeling, processing, and dealing with the pandemic through poetry. The community really took that to heart and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards) because the library received 226 responses!

The contest was judged by Safety Harbor Poet Laureate Steve Kistulentz, Former Safety Harbor Poet Laureate Barbara Finkelstein, local author and poet Laura Kepner, and local writer Darla Chesnet. Each judge selected a winning poem from each of the four age categories and the library published the poems on their website. Winners also received a Safety Harbor Strong t-shirt, courtesy of the Friends of the Safety Harbor Library.

The Safety Harbor Public Library congratulates the winners and hopes that by expressing their thoughts and feelings through poetry, all contestants were able to get a little relief from the stress and worry brought on by the pandemic.

Kathryn Malaxos has lived in Safety Harbor since 1990. She is a mother of two grown humans and a dog who may never grow up. Kathy started teaching in 1989 and continues to work as a public school teacher. She is a graduate of USF St. Pete’s master’s program for Digital Journalism & Design. Contact her with story ideas and suggestions at