Devin Kawailani Barricklow, a Pennsbury High School junior, has been named the 2014 Bucks County High School Poet of the Year, officials at Bucks County Community College announced.
Barricklow, a Yardley resident, was selected out of 104 entries. As the winner of the 27th annual contest, she will receive $300 and be honored at a poetry reading on May 18 at the college’s Newtown campus. Barricklow said she grew up surrounded by literature, and has been writing since she was about five years old, according to an announcement from the college.
“My grandfather was an English professor at Rider [University] for many years, and his appreciation for poetry has really opened my eyes,” Barricklow said. “I'll never forget when he read ‘Hurt Hawks’ by Robinson Jeffers to my fourth-grade class; he got this sparkle in his eye that made me realize just how important it was to him.”
In addition, writing was greatly valued in her family and viewed as a gift. “On birthdays, in addition to presents, we read poems aloud to one another,” she added.
Barricklow said interested in studying politics, psychology or biology in college and plans to continue writing poetry throughout her life.
Three runners up were also chosen: Central Bucks East junior Erin Farrell is the first runner-up; George School senior Sophie Myles is the second runner-up; and Central Bucks West senior Isabel Cleff is the third runner-up.
The High School Poet of the Year reading and reception takes place at 2 p.m. on May 18 in the Orangery on the campus at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown.