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Wheeler student a winning poet


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POSTED: Monday, July 06, 2009

Gabrielle Fagan, an eighth-grader from Wheeler Middle School who wants to be a novelist, is the grand-prize winner for Oahu in the 10th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Poetry Contest.

Her poem, “;Take Action,”; describes a young wife and mother's desire for peace as her husband goes to war, a release said. An excerpt:

why does it seem that we have no chances to follow our dreams
to spread our wings and soar
'cuz there's too many closed doors
So we gotta open a few
stop wasting time wondering what to do

Selected from more than 800 entries, Fagan's poem is “;immediate and authentic, employing imagery and repetition unusual in a writer this young,”; according to Melinda Gohn, coordinator of the International Peace Poem Project.

; Founded in 1996, the contest is held to promote peace through writing, and pays tribute to King, who promoted nonviolence in the pursuit of civil rights for African-Americans and other minorities, a release said.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann presented Fagan with an original portrait of the Beatles by renowned Lahaina artist Davo as the grand prize. More than 100 student winners received certificates and pictures of King and President Barack Obama at a presentation in April.