The James and Christian LaRoche Memorial Poetry Contest recently announced the winners of the 2019 contest.

Chance Freytag of Destin won first place and a cash prize of $100 for his poem “loneliness is former United States President Richard Nixon.”

Freytag’s poem will be published in April in the 2019 issue of Northwest Florida State College’s annual journal of art and literature, Blackwater Review. The poem will be identified in the publication as the contest winner.

Alizabeth Turner-Ward from Niceville placed second with her poem “Remember You are Stardust.” Turner-Ward will be awarded a cash prize of $50.

Courtney Swanson from Shalimar placed third with her poem “How to be a Child.” Swanson will receive a cash prize of $25.

The winners will be recognized and awarded their prize money on Thursday, April 18, at 5 p.m. during the Student Awards & Honors Ceremony in the Raider Café in Bldg. 400, the Student Services Center on the Niceville campus of NWFS.

For 33 years the LaRoche name has been associated with poetry at NWF. In 1986, Christian LaRoche instituted the James N. LaRoche Memorial Poetry Contest to honor her late husband, who was a poet and an instructor at the College from 1968-1983. The name was changed after the death of Christian LaRoche, when the LaRoches’ son, Frederic, changed the name to the James and Christian LaRoche Memorial Poetry Contest in honor of both of his parents and their commitment to the writing arts.

The James and Christian LaRoche Memorial Poetry Contest is an annual contest open to all Northwest Florida undergraduates.