Calvert City, KY (June 8, 2021) – Calvert City’s Youth Voice is a monthly writing contest developed for young authors between the age of 5 and 18. June 1 was the first deadline for the monthly writing contest and the winner for June is Zyla Dortch of Paducah, Kentucky.

Calvert Area Development Association used a rubric judging system to choose the June winner. Judges received the submissions with just the writings. They did not know how old the author was or where they were located.

Dortch is a senior at Paducah Tilghman High School and enjoys writing, singing, baking, reading, volunteering, and activism. Her favorite class is composition/language arts and her favorite teacher is Mr. King.

The next deadline for the monthly writing contest is July 1. Young writers are encouraged to submit original work in any style of creative writing. One winner will be awarded monthly.

Monthly winners will receive $50 and an ad in the Lake News with their published work. The deadline to submit work will be on the first of each month. This contest is not limited to Calvert City residents. We encourage writers from across the region to submit their original work.

For more information on Calvert City’s Youth Voice, please call City Hall at 270-395-7138 or by email at info@calvertcity.com.

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CAN YOU HEAR IT?
By Zyla Dortch

Can you hear it?
the beating of all the hearts?
It would be comforting
if things were different.

Can you hear it?
It’s the sound of all of us
the marginalized
the objectified
the victims
the minorities.
We’re trying to speak out
but the only thing you can hear
is the sound of the hearts
we once had beating.

Can you hear it?
It’s ominous,
We always know that death is looming.
You count in years,
we count in days
hours
minutes
seconds.

Can you hear it?
It’s the sound of a man
asking for a glass of water.
He can’t breathe,
you don’t mind,
and the sound of our heartbeat shrinks
from another lost life.

Can you hear it?
It’s the sound of a person who’s sick.
They’re being refused treatment,
your beliefs don’t agree
and the sound of our heartbeat shrinks
from another lost life.

Can you hear it?
It’s the sound of fists
They’re jabbing almost at the rhythm of our hearts.
But they beat with hate
and we lose two more heartbeats
on a subway after the parade.

Can you hear it?
It’s the sound of a guilty man walking free.
Her jeans were too tight
She would have to help him get them off
So she said yes.
Now we’ve lost another one
to fear this time.
Once brave enough to speak out
now silenced.

I know you can hear it.
the question is if you ignore it
or
you join the mix of grieving hearts beating.

 

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