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Morro Bay Estuary to host youth and adult poetry contest 

Morro Bay Estuary

Photo courtesy of Morro Bay Estuary Program.

Poetry contest will begin on Earth Day

The Morro Bay Estuary Poetry Contest, “A National Treasure in Words,” will commence on Earth Day, April 22. To celebrate the estuary program’s 20th anniversary, the poetry contest asks kids and adults to write haikus and free verse poems using the Morro Bay Estuary as a theme.

Contest Guidelines:
• Haikus (three-line poems consisting of 17 syllables in a 5/7/5 pattern) will be accepted in the “Estuarine Seventeen” category
• Free verse poems of no more than 45 lines will be accepted in the “Free Flowing” category
• Writers may submit up to three poems in total
• Entries will be accepted by email until May 15

One adult and one youth winner will be chosen in each category. Winners will receive a prize basket and certificate, and their selected poems will be published in estuary program materials, on the website, and in social media messages.

One adult and one youth runner up from each category will receive a certificate of participation, and their selected poem will be included on the estuary program’s website and in social media messages. A celebratory reading featuring the winners and runners-up will be held at Coalesce Bookstore, located at 845 Main St., in Morro Bay, at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 19.

Before entering the contest, poets should read our complete guidelines at

The judging panel includes Youssef Alaoui, Rob Seitz, Kevin Patrick Sullivan, and Rachel Pass.

Life by the ocean inspired Youssef Alaoui to publish a collection of dark romantic poems called “Death At Sea” and a nineteenth century adventure novel called “The Blue Demon.”

Rob Seitz began writing poetry while working aboard his grandfather’s commercial salmon fishing boat on the Cook Inlet in Alaska; he has published one book of poetry.

Kevin Patrick Sullivan is a past Poet Laureate for the City of San Luis Obispo and the co-founder and curator for the annual San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival and Corners of the Mouth.

Rachel Pass is the communications & outreach coordinator for the estuary program and has edited several collections of poetry.

About the Morro Bay Estuary Program

The estuary program is a non-regulatory, non-profit organization. The program has been conducting monitoring and research, restoring natural habitats, and educating residents and visitors on how to keep Morro Bay clean and healthy since 1995.

The estuary program will host other 20th anniversary celebrations throughout 2015 to focus attention on the bay and to teach people how to keep it clean and healthy for future generations. For questions, please contact Rachel Pass, communications & outreach coordinator, at or call (805) 772-3834.


About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at