Meet the high school senior who just won Georgia’s 11th annual Poet Laureate’s Prize

THOMAS COUNTY, Ga. — The Georgia Council for the Arts named a Thomas County high school senior as the state’s student Poet Laureate’s Prize winner.

Grayson Jones, a senior at Thomas County Central High School, won the prize for the 11th annual competition for her poem “Pennies.”

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“Reading the Poet Laureate’s Prize entries, which come from across the state, from students just entering high school to those about to graduate, is a powerful experience,” said Georgia Poet Laureate Chelsea Rathburn. “I’m reminded how poetry is both intimate and universal, expressing individual concerns but also showing how much we have in common.”

At the Georgia Capitol, Jones and the other finalists read their poems and took photographs with Gov. Brian Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp and Rathburn.


“Access to arts education provides young people a foundation for success, and Georgia’s Poet Laureate’s Prize has been a catalyst for artistic engagement among our state’s high school students for over a decade,” said Georgia Council for the Arts Executive Director Tina Lilly. “We are continually inspired by the talent and creativity of students statewide, and extend our gratitude to the teachers and schools who guided and encouraged these students throughout this year’s contest.”

The Georgia Council for the Arts said more than 300 students submitted poems for this year’s competition, a more than 100 submission increase over the previous year and almost double the amount of participating schools.

A full list of finalists can be found online.

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