The Richmond Arts and Culture Commission is proud to present the selected prize winning Richmond Writes! poets:

Elementary Schools

1st Place

“My Mind is Big” – Nora Griffin, Murphy Elementary

“Mindfulness/My heart is Big” – Natalia Giddings, Murphy Elementary

“What Matters Most” – Gabby Beaudoin, Olinda Elementary

“Where I’m From” – Nikky Barron, Olinda Elementary

“Fish Tank” – Bella Rudolph, Kensington Hilltop

“Redwood Forest” – Oliver Findley, Kensington Hilltop

“Homelessness” – Mehak Khan, Murphy Elementary

“Nature” – Maya Arndt, Murphy Elementary

“What Matters” – Lizveth Mendieta, Bayview Elementary

“Honolulu” – Vaimoana Malupo, Bayview Elementary

2nd Place

“Might You Forget” – Rozia Fizhugh, Murphy Elementary

“Mindfulness/My mind is big” – Nola Griffin, Murphy Elementary

“Grampa” – Joel Arreola, Peres Elementary

“Peace” – Jesse Pinkston, Olinda Elementary

“My Wish” – Alonso Angel, Verde Elementary

“Ben Wallace” – Samari Stephens, Murphy Elementary

“Winter” – Max Kechely, Murphy Elementary

“The Handmade Swing” – Amalia Clark, Washington Elementary

“My Life” – Kimora Smith, Murphy Elementary

“My Earth” – Jocelynn Avelar, Murphy Elementary

3rd Place:

“Unicorn” – Toudla Oumsount, Murphy Elementary

“Making Friends” – Harkert Kaur, Murphy Elementary

“The Woman of many Jobs” – Kaylee Barron, Olinda Elementary

“Single” – Daniel Hutchinson, Peres Elementary

“Light” – Nolan Stechschulte, Kensington Hilltop

“My Inspiration” – Isaiah Molina, Verde Elementary

“Parents” – Clarissa Castro, Washington Elementary

Untitled – Micaela Josephs, Washington Elementary

“Miss Jones” – Chloe Jones, Bayview Elementary

“Me” – Nicholas Nieto, Bayview Elementary

Honorable Mention: Elementary School

“My Mind, Lovin’ It” – Daeshaun Lucas, Murphy Elementary

“I Will Do Warm Ups” – Kathleen Nguyen, Murphy Elementary

“My Mind is Smart” – Tamara Valencia, Murphy Elementary

“Love is Cute” – Yumna Faisal, Murphy Elementary

“CHEERIOS” – Xander Serrano, Murphy Elementary

“Music” – Esther Chen, Murphy Elementary

“Family” – Natalia Giddings, Murphy Elementary

“Churros” – Anthony Noriega Murphy Elementary

“Snoopy” (Teacher’s Poem) – Tracy LaFreniere, Murphy Elementary

“Basketballl” – Taran Madhar, Murphy Elementary

“Sloths” – Jordan Icabalceta, Murphy Elementary

“Mindfulness” – Gabriella Sanchez, Murphy Elementary

“We Need Peace” – Juan Ponce, Peres Elementary

“Family and Pets” – Alondra G, Peres Elementary

“Nature” – Jaelen Jackai, Peres Elementary

“A Promise to my School” – Yaretzy Marquez, Peres Elementary

“Math” – Huck Casillas, Olinda Elementary

“Diversity Is Strength” – Joyi Min, Olinda Elementary

“Football” – Maximo DeFuentes, Peres Elementary

“Untitled” – Ana Tobar, Peres Elementary

“games” – J.D. Patino, Peres Elementary

“Water Matters” – J.D. Patino, Peres Elementary

“Cats” – Jacob Parter, Olinda Elementary

“Why Did God Create Mother” – Giovanna D. Blanco, Peres Elementary

“The Ocean” – Juan Contreras Valenzuela, Peres Elementary

“War” – Raiden Robbins, Kensington Hilltop

“Sundays” – Gabriella Veenbaas, Kensington Hilltop

“Guitar” – Bella Rudolph, Kensington Hilltop

“Sky and Ground” – Zofia Chester, Kensington Hilltop

“Life” – Carolos Acosta, Washington Elementary

“Peace” – Alexis Deleon, Verde Elementary

“Art” – Fatima Garcia, Verde Elementary

“Music” – Diana Chinchilla, Verde Elementary

“Hummingbirds” – Eternity Jones-Dorton, Murphy Elementary

“Mindfulness” – Lesly Valencia Ruelas, Murphy Elementary

“Haiku Love” – Amanda Olsen, Murphy Elementary

“Mindfulness”  – Nya Edwards, Murphy Elementary

“Haiku Weird Space” – Hemza Oumsount, Murphy

“Mindfulness” – Miracle Roy, Murphy Elementary

“Mindfulness” – Jamari Hudson, Murphy Elementary

“Mindfulness” – Anner A. Bonilla, Murphy Elementary

“Mindfulness” – Gurkaran Kang, Murphy Elementary

“Water” – Uriel Perez-Arreola, Murphy Elementary

“Mindfulness” – Taylor Amani Arrington, Murphy Elementary

“Mindfulness” – Emma Schmidt, Murphy Elementary

“Mindfulness” – Douglas Bradley, Murphy Elementary

Untitled – Max Kechely, Murphy Elementary

“Soccer” – Cristl Moran Reyes, Murphy Elementary

“Sister” – Rida Kashif, Murphy Elementary

“Friends” – Giselle Barragan, Washington

“Family” – Citlali Mendo, Washington

“Words” – Sofia Keenan, Washington

“Sister” – Tyree Hopkins, Bayview Elementary

“Important Life Lesson” – Chomphunuch Sayavong, Murphy Elementary

“Earth” – Imane Saad, Murphy Elementary

“Untitled” – Fabiola Garcia, Bayview Elementary


Middle Schools

1st Place

“A December Night” – Benjamin Kim, Hercules Middle School

2nd Place

“Oxygen” – Sophia Ahlstrand, Hercules Middle School

3rd Place

“Still Alive, Talking” – Thuy-Lyz Dinh, Hercules Middle School

Honorable Mention: Middle School

“Education” – Jake Boston, Hercules Middle School


High Schools

1st Place

“Maane’s Poem” – Maane Korley Baah-Arhinm Salesian College Prep

2nd Place

“Untitled” – Mariano Gutierrez, De Anza High School

3rd Place

“Creativity” – Kelsey Elkin, De Anza High School

Honorable Mention: High School

“Choose Your Path” – Tanya Ochoa, Middle College High School


Haiku Poets of Northern California

1st Place

“I Love You” – Thuy-Lyz Dinh, Hercules Middle School

2nd Place

“A December Night” – Benjamin Kim, Hercules Middle School

3rd Place

“Life” – Silvia Coca Cruz, Washington Elementary

Honorable Mention: Haiku Poets of Northern California

“Cats at the Window” – Jacob Parter, Olinda Elementary

“Sikhism” – Harkert Kaur, Murphy Elementary

“Earth is like an Egg” – Imane Saad, Murphy Elementary


The Richmond Arts & Culture Commission is proud to present the seventh year of the Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest, which encourages young people to express their creativity through haiku and poetry. Again this year, the poems have touched the hearts of the art commissioners, judges, teachers, parents, city staff, and all who read them.

The public is invited to attend the Awards Ceremony for the 2017 Richmond Writes! Poetry Contest on Friday, April 14th at 6:00 pm in City Council Chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza in Richmond.