The Power of Poetry

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Incoming Ronkonkoma Middle School sixth-grade student Cristian Martinez has attained a number of impressive accolades based on his gift for crafting beautiful poems, including most recently being awarded first place in the Princess Ronkonkoma Productions 12th annual poetry contest for his poem, “Magic Coin.” 

Cristian’s poem was about one of his passions, soccer, and was celebrated as the top entry during a recent ceremony. In attendance for the event were Cristian’s family and his C-Quest adviser Lisa Manzo, who sparked his love of poetry in the fourth grade. 
“I love the way poetry allows me to express my thoughts and feelings in a creative way,” Cristian said. “It has been amazing to see all my hard work pay off and know that my passion is writing.”  

In addition to his most recent honor, Cristian secured a first-place title in the 2018 Bards Initiative poetry contest for his submission, “Horizon Sea.” This poem was also selected for inclusion in its publication, “Bards Annual.” 

Cristian continues to work hard throughout the summer vacation, mastering his craft. He is currently being mentored on a monthly basis by 2015-17 Suffolk County Poet Laureate Robert Savino in a program which was offered to him when he won the Walt Whitman Awards last year through C-Quest.

Cherokee Street Elementary School teachers Darren Gagnon and Cathy Mongiello were highly influential in guiding Cristian every day and making him reach his full potential. Additionally, C-Quest advisers Lisa Manzo and Kevin Keane are credited with sparking Cristian’s love for poetry.