Poetry Festival will be held:

Saturday, April 27, 2024

2017 Winner

Immigrant Song

My Great Grandfather and namesake, along with his siblings, was forced to leave his home in Ukraine on a day’s notice in order to escape religious persecution. He would never see his parents again. Eventually, he came to America (as an immigrant) and started a family, as well as a successful business in Buffalo, New York.

I fled home

as a chorus of God’s wrath rumbled closer,

bellowing their hymn of fissured families

My song

became rhythmic migration.


I longed for a breath of freedom

beneath the light of a golden lamp.


It is here,

where the refuse take refuge,

that my symphony



Sam Gonson

Gonzaga College High School

Grade: 12


Arlington, VA


Arlington, VA

Favorite Author or Book:

Martín Espada

Dream for the Future:

To initiate social change.

Inspirational Figure:

Mr. Ross