Two Young Poets win Prestigious VOYA Awards

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Santa Clara County Library District Celebrates National Poetry Month

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – April 2, 2018 – Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) magazine has named two local award winners in their teen poetry contest. Both Selina Chen, Grade 7 Redwood Middle School, and Breanna de Vera, Grade 12 Fremont High School, were nominated by the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) after receiving awards in the 2017 annual contest.

Selina Chen, 7th grade, Redwood Middle School“We are delighted to see a respected organization like VOYA recognize our talented young poets,” said Nancy Howe, County Librarian. “Our teen librarians and the entire SCCLD staff take great pride in helping our young patrons find their own voices through poetry.”

Founded in 1978, VOYA is a library journal dedicated to the needs of young adult librarians, as well as the advocacy and promotion of young adult literature and reading. Selina’s poem is titled “Moon Festival – Sonnet,” while Breanna won with an untitled piece. Both students will receive $20 and have their poems published in the April issue of VOYA.

Mike McGee (center) with Milpitas Library StaffThe County of Santa Clara recently named “Mighty” Mike McGee as County Poet Laureate. For over a decade, McGee has been a regular fixture at Milpitas Library, Breanna’s home library, where he has presented to high school students and hosted a poetry slam event. Mike McGee will be sworn in as County Poet Laureate on Saturday, June 2 at Milpitas Library.

SCCLD has an annual teen poetry competition in April as part of our celebration of National Poetry Month. Information about the contest including the entry form, list of last year’s winners, and copies of their poems can be found at  All entries must be received by April 30.

 Nancy Howe/Diane Roche/Erik Sanjurjo
 Santa Clara County Library District
 (408) 293-2326 ext. 3001/3080/3014

About the Santa Clara County Library District
The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) promotes knowledge, ideas, and cultural enrichment. Its collection includes more than 2 million books, videos, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, eBooks and extensive online resources accessible from home or work. In 2014, SCCLD celebrated one hundred years of service to local residents. For the last several years, SCCLD has been consistently recognized as one of America’s Star Libraries by Library Journal. In 2017, SCCLD was ranked among the top ten large libraries in the United States in the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. In 2014 and 2015, SCCLD won Innovator Awards from the Urban Libraries Council.

The Santa Clara County Library District includes two bookmobiles, an online library, seven community libraries and one branch library serving Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. In 2017, the Santa Clara County Library District had more than 328,000 library cardholders and welcomed 3.2 million visitors, who borrowed over 9 million items.