Student’s poem wins DelVal contest, gets published

Devin Sparwasser said the recognition has inspired her to move forward writing a book of poetry.
Posted on 07/23/2020
Photo of Devin SparwasserBy Gary Weckselblatt

Devin Sparwasser, a rising sophomore at Quakertown Community High School, will have a poem published in the 2019-20 edition of The Gleaner, "Right the Wrong/Write the Wrong," Delaware Valley University’s High School Writing Competition.

“I was so surprised,” Devin said when she received the email notifying her that she would be receiving prize money and a copy of The Gleaner, DelVal’s literary journal that is staffed by undergraduate students with a professor as the advisor. They publish poetry, prose, and photos. “I never imagined this would happen to me. I feel really lucky.”

Devin learned of the opportunity from Jennifer Stover, her 9th grade English teacher, and one of her biggest supporters. “Devin is a very special young woman,” Mrs. Stover said. “She is both an exceptional student and a genuinely good person. She is conscientious and thoughtful in academics and in personal relationships. She has a strong command of voice and language in her writing and conversation. She is truly something special.”

Devin wrote a letter to Mrs. Stover, thanking her for “believing in me!!! I never would have thought in a million years that my poem would be noticed and that I could possibly be a winner of this contest. … This has inspired me to continue the poetry book that I have been working on throughout the summer that I am thinking of sending to a publisher. … I am extremely grateful that you have been my English teacher and that you have given me such an incredible opportunity!!!!”

Her poem is titled "L.I.F.E.L.I.N.E."

“Good times come and good times go,
Falling petals from a rose.
When you think it’s here to stay,
It turns around and goes away.

The sepia sky seems full of light,
Then comes the dappled dark of night.
My faith and pride, they wave goodbye,
Mute tears stream down, I start to cry.

And then I wonder, while I think,
About how it’s all began to sink.
The wind will chill,
The leaves have changed.
Why is it all fading away?

But then, as I reach my final clasp,
The light appears within my grasp.

Reach out your hand, hold onto me,

The spark to my epiphany.
Just stay with me and you will see,
That life is more than what you see.”


“It’s about life,” Devin said. “Life has a lot of curves and it can take many different turns. Those turns can be for the better or for the worse, but you have to trust that eventually things will come together and work out.”

An aspiring clinical therapist, Devin said she plans to always continue writing, possibly as “a side job to my main career.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.
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