25 fifth-grade Clover Street School students put their poetic skills on the line Monday during the school's fifth annual fifth grade poetry slam.
"You are my muse" Poet-in-Residence Elizabeth Thomas told the students following their performances.
"Each one of them stepped up to the plate," she added.
The competition was so heated that the esteemed panel of judges (Windsor Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeffrey Villar, Board of Education President Doreen Richardson, Florence Barlow of the Windsor Education Foundation, Director of Pupil Services and Special Education Jody Lefkowitz, Candidate for fifth-district State Representative Jay Lewis and former poetry slam champion Arianne Johanson) had difficulty choosing just one winner.
There was a three-way tie for the top spot, shared by Jake Lachniet, Kiara Fullard, and the duo of Shaun Hunter and Leslie Randolph, who performed their "CMT Rap."
The competition is a part of the school's Challenge Resource program, which brings several artsits-in-residence, like Thomas, to classrooms throughout the year.
In addition to being a published poet, Thomas is a national youth poetry team coach who designs and teaches writing programs for schools across the country.
She has also performed as a part of the prestigious Sunken Garden poetry series.
Over the course of four days, Thomas worked with the students on dramatic presenations of their poetry.
Nahriel Gelly took home second place in this year's competition, and Kali vom Eigen won third place.