SENECA – A Seneca poet has taken top honors in the 16th Annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition. Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White announced this year’s first place winner of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award was Phyllis Natenek of Seneca. She was honored for her poem “Gray Legions.” The competition is named for the late Pulitzer Prize-winning Illinois Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks and is part of the Illinois Center for The Book program at the State Library.
“I created the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition to promote creative writing and provide an opportunity to recognize new literary talent throughout the state,” White said. “Illinois has a long and rich literary heritage, and these poets are adding to the tradition established by legendary poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Great poems have the ability to enrich and enhance our lives, and I am pleased to celebrate this year’s talented winners.”