For the love of local poetry | Auburn’s poet laureate

  • Friday, May 7, 2021 3:30pm
  • Life
James Rodgers, Auburn’s poet laureate.

James Rodgers, Auburn’s poet laureate.

By James Rodgers, Auburn Poet Laureate

Hello Auburn! I hope all is well. It has been brought to our attention that one of the youth poems I had picked and was printed in the April 23 edition of the Auburn Reporter was plagiarized from another poet.

The poem, “The Virus,” was actually written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, who has multiple books, and writes many great poems for children. Our apologies to Amy for the error. We are saddened the youth responsible for the plagiarism didn’t feel comfortable writing their own words, and for the fact another student was denied an opportunity for the spotlight.

Poetry is an escape, a doorway to explore, an essential form of communication that we need, maybe now more than ever. As a poet, my poems are incredibly important to me, each and every one, and having someone take one of my poems and claim it as their own is hurtful. But we will not let this one bad incident keep the gray clouds over our otherwise sunny spring and summer. We will keep writing, and I hope you will keep writing and reading poetry as well. To make it up for the student who didn’t get published in last week’s issue, here’s another entry I enjoyed.


Dark and light

Red as blood, it pumps

Red is love

Red is hate

Red is used to communicate

In everyone there is Red.

— By Sareli Islas-Perez, age 11, Ilalko Elementary

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