Pictured from left are (back row) Emilio DeGrazia, Ken McCullough, and (front row) Carol Borzyskowski.

Haake Poetry Award winners named


The Foundation for Winona Area Public Schools congratulates the 2020 Annual Haake Poetry Award winners!


WSHS winners

•    First place ($100 prize): Franscesca-Rose Meyer and Jack Blahnik

•    Second place ($50 prize): Linda Moua, Evelyn Lorenz and Doua Yang


WMS winners

•    First place ($100 prize): Jacob Dulek and Malia Indra

•    Second place ($50 prize):  Jacob Dulek, Clay Cotrell and Karissa Merchlewitz


This year’s Haake Poetry Prize Competition was unique to others.  With the recent pandemic, all poems were entered, compiled and judged blindly online.  

Thank you to all student contestants for their participation with original poetry compositions this year. The foundation thanks Eileen Dahlin, Adam Matson and all of the language arts teachers at WMS and WSHS, and the esteemed judges panel. The judges included Emilio DeGrazia, Ken McCullough and Carol Borzyskowski. 

Emilio DeGrazia is a long-time resident of Winona and has had several books of fiction, creative prose and poetry published. In addition, he has done editing work for several arts and educational organizations. He will have a second poetry collection, ”What Trees Know,” published this coming June. DeGrazia also has served two terms as Winona’s poet laureate. 

The second judge, Ken McCullough, was a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He has published eight books of poetry, and a volume of short fiction. His poetry and translations have appeared in over 250 magazines and 50 anthologies. He has received many awards for his poetry, including grants from SEMAC and the Minnesota State Arts Board. McCullough has taught at several universities, as well as the Poetry-in-the-Schools programs in Montana, South Carolina and Iowa, and has given workshops in grade schools, high schools, colleges and universities, senior centers and prisons. He has served for multiple terms as Winona’s poet laureate. 

The final judge, Carol Borzyskowski, is retired from editing, publishing a literary magazine and as a 25-year associate librarian. She now spends her time listening to books while she works on her mosaic art pieces. Occasionally she will write poetry and appreciates the chance to read the Haake poetry entries so she can see what is being written about by high school and middle school kids. 

A debt of gratitude is owed to Dr. Paul Haake, who established this annual poetry competition at the Foundation for Winona Area Public Schools. Dr. Haake, a 1950 alumnus of Winona Senior High School and professor emeritus at Wesleyan University, honored the memory of his father, Arnold Haake, by endowing the annual poetry prize. For more information, please call the Foundation for WAPS at 507-494-1004.


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