Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Larchmont Buzz Poetry Contest Winners Announced

Five of the eight winners in the First Annual Larchmont Buzz Poetry Contest. Top row, left to right: Tim Mattson, Michael Cassidy. Bottom row, left to right: Spencer Hoye, Raquel Castillo, Emma Raanan.

When Buzz advertising director Kimberly Rudy proposed during the month of April, a.k.a. National Poetry Month, that we put together a little neighborhood poetry contest, we thought it would be fun…and fervently hoped that a few people would decide to enter.

To our surprise, however, it wasn’t just a few – we had more than 90 (!) entries in all, from poets of all ages who put pen to paper and gave us their very best creative efforts.

During the month of May, representatives from the three sponsoring companies – The Buzz, Chevalier’s Books and The Hatchery Press – spent time individually and together reading and savoring each of the submissions.  In the end, several poems genuinely stood out from the pack and were declared the winners in the following categories:


12 and Under – “Chittering Monkey” by Spencer Hoye, age 9
13-18 – “Stolen Words” by Emma Raanan, age 14
Adult – “Chances” by Tim Mattson

Open Form 

12 and Under – (tie) “The Children” by Audrey Cummings, age 9…and “A Beagle Eagle” by Raquel Castillo, age 8
13-18 – “Samson and the Golden Horde” by Rachel Dennis, age 15
Adult – (tie) “Whenever it Rains in LA” by Angelo Tommie…and “Efficient Future Man” by Michael Cassidy

Several of the winners gathered yesterday at Chevalier’s Books for a group photo, and to claim one of their prizes – a $15 gift certificate to the store.  All winners will also be invited to read their poems at an upcoming event at The Hatchery, and the adult winners will also receive a day pass to The Hatchery.

Thank you to all of our enthusiastic entrants…and especially to our winning poets.  We hope to see new entries from all of you next year!

And, finally, here are the full texts of the winning poems:


Chittering Monkey

Chittering monkey
climbs and swings on tree branches
and thinks himself tall.

Spencer Hoye, age 9

Stolen Words

Sometimes I feel like
I stole the words I carry
Picked them up and ran

— Emma Raanan, age 14


Knocks, anybody in there?
No one home…just air.

– Tim Mattson

Open Form

The Children

Imagine your life is at stake
It’s no piece of cake
So new to this world
is your four year old girl
Now you cannot stay at this life that  you’ve made
We must leave this land you and me hand in hand
You might not have food
That’s a bad mood
No place to rest
No place to eat
Come on, get back on your feet
Now open your eyes
stop imagining
See those tired, dry faces
those children about to cry
They cross the country for our help
And we shut the door in their eyes

— Audrey Cummings, age 9

A Beagle Eagle

I thought I saw a
beagle, flying high over
my head.  But I figured
out.  It really was an
eagle, riding on my

— Raquel Castillo, age 8

Samson and the Golden Horde

There is a myth, about the god Loki
And Sif, Thor’s wife.
Her hair is light and golden blonde, and he is full of spite and mischief.
As she lay sleeping one night he slipped into her room
Cut it off.
His hair was red ­- his giant’s heart black with envy.

The gods awoke to a crack of thunder
And commissioned a wig of the finest spun gold.
Her hair was as long and glittering as ever,
Loki passing through the halls by weak pardon only.

In the story of Samson, he has godly strength
And it’s Delilah’s task to find its source.
In the ungodly hour of early morning he confides,
His hair has not been shaved from birth.

That night the tale repeats itself, with a crueller ending.
His hair cut, strength taken, eyes gouged.
Silver falls into Delilah’s hands
Seen by Judas thousand years later

How many have cut your hair, I wonder?
It seems long enough that no one has
Or maybe you just look younger than you are.
Either way you’re in need of a trim:
If I’m your council of gods, your Loki, and your Delilah
By what method will your story end?

— Rachel Dennis, age 15

Whenever it rains in L.A.

There is a man outside in the wet
trench coat, collar up,
water jumps the edge of eyelash,
a superstitious ache in his knee.

Yet he still manages to walk
twenty five minutes, each
soaked trembling tread
turning surer stomp.
Contemplating if this is the time he
finally pushes the buzzer.

The lost lover
stands on drenched steps,
looked up, stared at the vicious wild spitting sky.
Holding cold ears pulls his collar even higher damning back a river
of collapsed cascades all bound in his left eye
peers over the ledge of the sidewalk and leaps.

His waterlogged heart
washing away in the gutter twenty five minutes back home,
contemplating, how maybe next time
He would finally push the buzzer.

— by Angelo Tommie

Efficient Future Man

The app told me I over chew my food
so smaller bites, less chewing
saved ten minutes a day

My car parks itself
no more looking for spots
saved 18 minutes a day

Fridge knows what’s been consumed
orders it, no more stores
32 minutes

An extra hour a day for what really matters!

First hour

drink perfect coffee from automated machine
reflect on the people who have wronged me
imagine I spoke up
feel right, then not
more perfect coffee
shift focus to imperfect body
set calendar alarm: Diet. Tomorrow.
cake for breakfast today

End of hour

— Michael Cassidy


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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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