Falls Church student named National Student Poet

Anne Castillo is named National Student Poet.  Monday, Aug. 28, 2017 (ABC7 photo) 

Annie Castillo's love of writing emerged around the age of 8. "Sort of just a hobby and I definitely wrote a lot of rhyming poems," she recalled during an interview with ABC7News.

Now, at the age of 16, Castillo is still producing poetry. "A stranger's hand presses paper like flowers. She left me her crumpled daisy," she recited from a poem called "Love Letter for a Library."

George Mason High School English Teacher Karin Tooze taught Castillo creative writing in the ninth grade. "I think of her as someone who is incredibly creative and a passionate student," Tooze stated. Castillo's teachers aren't the only ones who are taking notice.

The 11th grader at Mason was recently named a National Student Poet. "It is just such a great opportunity and I think it's really important validation of the work of writers and the importance of poetry," Castillo beamed.

To qualify for the competition, students are required to have earned a medal from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

The five newly selected student poets will serve as literary ambassadors and must complete a service project. Kathryn Matthew, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services explained, "They go back into their community, conduct poetry workshops and reach out to not only their peers, which is wonderful, but also to their community." "I hope I keep writing all the time for the rest of my life.

I would love for it to become a career of mine," Castillo shared. She and the four other National Student Poets will be officially appointed at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Aug. 31. The National Student Poets Program is offered by the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers.

This story has been updated, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017

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