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East Meadow student a winner in poetry contest

Mubaraka Ezzi, an eighth-grader at W. Tresper Clarke

Mubaraka Ezzi, an eighth-grader at W. Tresper Clarke Middle School, third from left, was one of 12 winners in the New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train Show Poetry Contest. Pictured with her, left to right, are teacher Lisa Scully, Principal Stacy Breslin and teacher Cindy Dale. Photo Credit: East Meadow School District

An East Meadow eighth-grader drew on family tradition for her poem “Let it Snow,” one of 12 winners in a poetry contest presented by The New York Botanical Garden.

Mubaraka Ezzi, 13, who attends W. Tresper Clarke Middle School in Salisbury, described in verse her family’s ritual of putting a spoon under a pillow and wearing pajamas inside out to help make it snow. She wrote it for the botanical garden’s Holiday Train Show Poetry Contest.

Ezzi was the only Long Island student to get an award. Participants were asked to submit original work inspired by the magic of winter and the holiday season.

“I just thought of this poem off the top of my head,” she said. “It was a really fun experience.”

The contest, held in partnership with the Poetry Society of America, received more than 120 submissions. The winning poems were selected by Billy Collins, of Manhattan, who was poet laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. The students shared their poems during a public reading at the garden on Dec. 16.

“We had a feeling her poem would appeal to Mr. Collins,” said Cindy Dale, a business teacher at the school. “It was a fun, clever and playful piece.”

Ezzi is a member of her school’s tennis team and is involved in the Cooking Club and Homework Helpers Club.

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