Press Release - GSSM Student Awarded Honorable Mention in Carl Sandburg Student Poetry Contest

April 24, 2020

GSSM Student Awarded Honorable Mention in Carl Sandburg Student Poetry Contest

Hartsville, SCThe South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) senior, Rachel Hogue of Horry County, has been awarded Honorable Mention in the 9-12 grade category of the annual Carl Sandburg Student Poetry Contest.


The annual Carl Sandburg Student Poetry Contest encourages young students to explore writing their own poetry based on a particular theme. This year’s theme was "movement.” The contest is intended to honor and extend the legacy that Carl Sandburg made on the American literary canon with his poetry and journalism.


Rachel shared her poem, “Her Yarns”, inspired by Carl Sandburg's "They Have Yarns" and the tradition of female storytelling paralleled with the movement of a textile loom.


Her Yarns

Her voice moves as quickly as her spindle,

For she is weaving

More than just a length of thread-


Of crying babes and of women growing wings

She sings. Lest we forget the weft

Of her endless tapestry of yarns

The stories travel along as if in a song

Which falls from the lips of a spinster aunt.


A female tradition moving with time

To bind invisible pages of local, vocal rhyme.

Tales of old wives, a woven ladder for women to climb.


As the loom shuttle moves faster than her tongue.

Tales traveling from the old to the young,

Sold and shifted through the ages they go

Until finally resting for a moment or so,

In our hands the shuttle whizzing to move again.

We are their yarns.

“During junior English at GSSM, my instructor Dr. Houle had us really dig into Natasha Trethewey’s Native Guard,” said Rachel Hogue, GSSM Senior. “While studying that work, I was fascinated by how history and poetry could work together. When I read the theme for this year’s contest of ‘movement’ the textile historian in me immediately thought of loom and after remembering Sandburg’s ‘They Have Yarns’ the ideas fell together.”

Rachel will be honored at a virtual award ceremony to recognize her accomplishments in the near future.


Founded in 1988, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics is a nationally recognized school serving over four hundred of the state's most accomplished STEM students in the 10th through 12th grades through its residential and virtual programs. GSSM offers college-level courses and experiences in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at its campus in Hartsville. The school also delivers virtual curricula in engineering and STEM disciplines to students in partner school districts throughout the state. GSSM’s dynamic outreach programs, including science summer camps and teacher training, impact over 5,000 K-12 students every year. Learn more by visiting

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