Rhianna Searle ’23 was named first runner-up in the Bucks County High School Poet of the Year contest. Rhianna was the only freshman among the finalists, the rest of whom were all high school seniors. This time-honored contest reaches back thirty-two years. To apply, contestants submitted exactly three original poems, limited neither by form nor style.
Rhianna first heard about the contest through her English teacher, Payton Ritchey. Rhianna said: “[Payton] knew I’m passionate about writing and asked if I’d be interested in submitting something. If I was, she offered to help work on the poems with me. I responded with a wholehearted YES! right away.” She elaborated: “the poems I submitted were all poems that I had written on my own, but Payton helped me revise during consultations.”
This love for poetry is not something new for Rhianna, though her craft has certainly grown already during her time at George School. From a young age, Rhianna had enthusiasm for writing poetry and previously attended a school that had a “Poetry Session” during their winter term. Rhianna stated, “I’ve been reading and writing poetry since I was in first grade.” Her favorite poets include Mary Oliver and Naomi Shihab Nye.
Rhianna gave us a peek into her writing process. Her first step is to write by hand in a notebook, “just letting it all flow without stopping to tweak.” She then transfers her work onto the computer where she revises it. We look forward to reading Rhianna’s future poems during her George School career.