C.B. East Senior Named Bucks County High School Poet of the Year

Stina Stannik of Buckingham rose to the top of more than 200 entries to win the 25th annual contest, part of the Bucks County Poet Laureate program.

Stina Stannik, a senior at Central Bucks High School East, has been named the 2012 Bucks County High School Poet of the Year, officials at Bucks County Community College announced.  The Buckingham resident rose to the top of more than 200 entries to win the 25th annual contest, part of the Bucks County Poet Laureate Program administered by the college.

Stannik (pictured, second from left) won a $300 prize and was honored at a poetry reading April 15 at the college’s Newtown campus. She was joined by runners-up and finalists in a celebration of young poets from across Bucks County. An anthology containing the winning poems and a poem from each entrant, Writes of Passage Vol. 2, was distributed to those in attendance.

The youngest of three children, Stannik says she began writing poetry for a school assignment in seventh grade, and then continued composing poems for her own enjoyment.

“I’ve always loved all sorts of writing, but in poetry, there’s something really catching about trying to say a lot with a little,” says Stannik, who had finished as second runner-up in the contest two years ago.  “The ability to write precise details, and to use those details for something larger, is really powerful.”

Stannik, who is active in the environmental club and world affairs club at C.B.  East, volunteers with the Buckingham Township Civic Association, where she is helping to plan a community garden. She hopes to attend either Stanford or Brown University and study international relations or humanitarianism.

Contest judges were 2011 Bucks County Poet Laureate Corie Feiner (pictured, second from right) and 2010 laureate Lorraine Henrie Lins (pictured, left), who each had high praise for Stannik.

“These poems combine unique images to create a visceral experience that lingers in the reader’s mind,” Feiner said. “They tell a story with clarity and succinctness.”

“There is an experienced precision in this poet’s voice; a careful measuring of reverence and defiance, whimsy and discernment; all of which showcase beautifully in this exceptional collection,” Lins noted.” I loved this poet’s word play, both orally and figuratively.”

The judges also chose three runners-up. They are C.B. South junior Abigail Wang of Chalfont, first runner-up; C.B. West senior Dana Lapides of Doylestown, second runner-up; and C.B. East junior Meghan Jusczak of Doylestown, third runner-up.

The 25th annual High School Poet of the Year contest, part of the Bucks County Poet Laureate program, is another way that Bucks County Community College contributes to the cultural heritage of the region. Co-directors of the program are Drs. Charlie Groth (pictured above, right) and Christopher Bursk. To learn more, call the Dept. of Language and Literature at 215-968-8150.


Some close their eyes as the reverend prays –

I raise mine,

Transfixed by Christ’s stained-glass sacrifice,

His crown of bramble,

The single crystal of blood plunging to the plush carpet.


A cell phone rings,

And a woman two rows in front of us

Stands, looking to the reverend.

He waves to her, excuses her

As if God Himself were calling.

I wish I could turn in my pew

To watch her walk out into the sunlight.


Back at the house, there is a church service program

Folded in the trash can by the toilet.

I, the visiting agnostic in a household of the devout,

Preserve my program

In the back of a book of short stories on my bedside table. 

-          Stina Stannik

Stage Fright


I step onto the stage,

A lonely road in winter darkness.

The spotlights are blinding,

High beams catching me, freezing me to the blacktop.

I can’t see the audience’s knuckles,

White with malice as they grip the wheel,

But I imagine their faces, disfigured

By a grotesque, satisfied snarl.

The moment as the car charges toward me

Is suspended, forever.

I look up, my throat raw

With the cut of icy air.

Dust motes glide silently,

Angelically, through the light,

Facets sparkling like snowflakes.

(Deathly quiet.)

Then, their foot on the accelerator –

I remember to jump –

Too late to reach the shoulder –

I slam into the windshield, stagger off the stage,

Shaken, battered and bruised but saved

From a grisly death beneath the wheels

Of the audience’s distaste.

-          Stina Stannik



Jean Dolan
Assistant Director, Public Relations