Latin Poetry Contest
2008 Poems
2007 Poems
2006 Poems

Adult Category
Under 16 Category
First Place

No reposemos las gargantas
(Let’s not rest our voices)

by Santiago Sandi-Ureña, Clemson SC

Spanish (Original)
English (Translated)


by Selene D. Means, Irmo SC

English (Original)

Second Place

Latido multiplicado
(Accelerated Heart Beat)

by Maureen Moreira Meza, Woodruf, SC

Spanish (Original)
English (Translated)

Her Hands

by Pauline Arroyo, Lexington SC

English (Original)

Third Place

El Morral (The Knapsack)

by Jose Aldo Orjuela, Greenville, SC

Spanish (Original)
English (Translated)


by Julie Anne Castro, Chapin SC

English (Original)

Adult Category First Place


Santiago Sandi-Ureña


Horas eternas.
Y vos escribís de calamares gigantes
que pululan desiertos sin arena.

Días sin noches.
Y vos insistís en aprenderte Andrómeda,
en recitar los cambios del zodiaco.

Sos de los dichosos esos que no se preocupan
por qué ser cuando sean grandes.
Vos como vos, solamente.

No reposemos las gargantas.

Solo porque el camino sea largo,
no vamos a dejar de emprenderlo.
Solo porque la noche esté oscura,
no vamos a apagar nosotros mismos las últimas velas.
Solo porque el amor de deshaga con la partida prematura,
no vamos a dejar la batalla de comenzar a conocernos.

Solo porque el grito se ahogue en el aplauso comprado,
no vamos a reposar las gargantas.
Solo porque seamos menos,
no somos pocos,
aunque sí,
tal vez estemos locos.

Solo porque suba la marea,
no hay más mar;
porque lluevan estrellas,
se agote el firmamento.
Solo porque la noche extinga el aliento,
no nos vamos a desalentar si no se apresura el día.

No vamos a reposar las gargantas porque sí!

Vamos a reposar las gargantas
cuando la justicia sea un bien común,
cuando el desamor no impere,
cuando la aritmética no sea absurda y excluyente y
uno y uno sean dos.
Sin tamaño, forma ni color.

Cuando dos sean dos,
y no haya aritmética que nos haga menos.

No vamos a reposar las gargantas
por que no.

Back to Poems

English (Translated)

Santiago Sandi-Ureña

Endless hours.
And you write about gigantic squids
Pullulating desserts without sand.

Days devoid of nights.
And you insist on learning Andromeda by heart,
on reciting the changes of the Zodiac.

You are one of those fortunate that don’t worry about what to be when grown ups

You are yourself, just that.

Let’s not rest our voices.

Just because the walk is long,
we won’t leave it un-started.
Just because the night is dark,
it won’t be ourselves blowing out the last candles.
Just because love crumbles with the premature departure,
we won’t give up the battle of getting started at knowing each other.

Just because the scream is suffocated with the arranged applause
we won’t rest our voices.
Just because we are fewer,
we are not less.
Although… yes,
we may be a little crazy.

Just because the tide rises,
there is no more ocean.
Because of the falling stars,
will the night sky cease to be.
Just because the night extinguishes the sigh,
we won’t be discouraged if the morning does not rush

We won’t rest our voices just because!

We will rest our voices
when justice becomes a common share
when un-love does not prevail.
When arithmetic is not so absurd and excluding
and one and one are just two
No size, no shape, no color.

When two are just two,
And no arithmetic makes less of us.
We won’t rest our voices,
because we won’t.

Back to Poems

Adult Category Second Place


Maureen Moreira Meza

Ayer me fije en mis brazos,
y encontré un espacio
un nido en el que
solo la mitad de mi ser
se multiplica.

En el que se ahuyenta la soledad
y se sazona la vida.

Un puente repartido
entre lo que existe
y lo que se piensa.

Un paraíso reservado,
debajo de mi pulmón,
donde se agita y calienta el aire.
como vapor del mar.

Brisa que empuja
las arterias y disuelve el azúcar
y mezcla el espíritu
con intensa vigilia.

Vigilia, vigilante
que se agota
entre el estrecho
de mi pecho y la frecuencia del pulso.

Un pulso que tiembla,
que progresa
al filo de una arrogante
y exclusiva verdad
multiplicada para dos.

Dos que fueron uno para el uno
y que se detuvieron
entre el angosto de un sueno
que solo tenia una
Presencia en el amor.

Amor del corazón
que se arrulla
entre el lazo
de mis brazos
y por donde se entrelaza
el latido multiplicado
de mi ser por mi amado.

Back to Poems

English (Translated)


Maureen Moreira Meza

Yesterday I looked at my hands
And found a space
A nest where only half of my existence

where solitude is scared away
and life is spiced up

A bridge distributed
between what it exists
and what it is thought

A reserved paradise
right underneath my lung
where the airs gets warmed and agitated
like steam from the sea

Breeze that pushes
arteries and dissolves sugar
and mixes the soul con intense wakefulness

Wakefulness, vigilant
who gets exhausted
between the tightness of my chest
and the frequency of my pulse

A trembling pulse,
that progresses at the edge
of an arrogant and exclusive truth
multiplied for two.

Two meant for each other
And that stopped between
the narrowness of a dream
that had only one presence in love

Love from the heart
That gets its lullaby
between the ropes of my hands
where it gets intertwined
with the accelerated heart beat
for my loved one.

Back to Poems

Adult Category Third Place


Jose Aldo Orjuela

Vamos a ver que tengo que mostrar
Vamos a ver que tengo en mi morral
Escarbaré hasta el fondo y sacaré
Las razones que me obligan, a cantar

Una piola, un trompo roto, un pedazo de metal
Unos gritos, tres amigos y un regaño maternal
Tres raspones de rodillas, un tierno beso fugaz
La certeza del momento y un ramillo de verdad…

Caminando en el sendero, buscaré
Las vivencias, los momentos tomaré
Iré guardando en el fondo del morral
Las cosas que yo quisiera encontrar

Una nube que sonríe, una piedra de algodón
Un árbol que me cobije y en el alma un rayo de sol
Un fusil que no dispara, un hombre que no cayó
Una idea, un pensamiento y un pueblo que no murió…

Y al final de mi camino, tomaré
El morral que yo he cargado y lo daré
A esos pasos que me siguen, a esos pasos que yo amé
A esos pasos que contienen lo mejor de mi ser.

Back to Poems

English (Translated)


Jose Aldo Orjuela

We are going to see what I have to show
We are going to see what I have in my knapsack
I will dig into the fund and I will take out
The reasons that oblige me, to sing…

A rope, a broken top, a piece of metal
Some shouts, three friends and a maternal scolding
Three scratches in the knees, a tender fleeting kiss
The certainty of the moment and a sprig of truth…

Walking in the path, I will seek
The experiences, the moments I will take
I will go keeping in the fund of the knapsack
The things that I would want to find

A cloud that smiles, a stone of cotton
A tree that shelter me and a ray of sun in my soul
A rifle that does not shoot, a man who did not fall down
An idea, a thought and a town that did not die…

And in the end of my road, I will take
The knapsack that I have carried and I will give it
To those steps that follow me, to those steps that I loved
To those footprints that contain the best of my being…

Back to Poems

Under 16 Category

First Place


Selene D. Means

I am a piece of paper;
clean and blank,
now written all over
by others.

Words written in sharpie;
written in ink.
Staying there.

Everything is written.

Sometimes it seems,
just seems,
kindness is outnumbered
by hurt.

But still,
I am a piece of paper.
A home to these words.
Written in sharpie.
Staying with me.
In memories.

Back to Poems

Under 16 Category Second Place


Pauline Arroyo

Sun beat hands; more beautiful than the conventional workers,
Swinging side-to-side as they
Fall in waiting opportunity.
No, these warriors have seen more than
The freshly filed by standers,
Scratching pasty flaps of flesh.
These liberator have plummeted into
The most undiscovered depths of dough,
Leaned against most unwelcoming
Crop blossoms,
And have stained strands of straw the deepest tone of crimson.
Each finger adorned with tourniquets,
Holding back links of fat
Gained from hours of sitting by one another
Hoping their master’s husband will come home,
These foreigners of hands
Have earned the right to live.
They have fought for labor,
And have abandoned pride to bow
Before superiors.
These martyrs;
Dashed with age and hindered by youth;
Stand together, anxious for glory.

Back to Poems

Under 16 Category Third Place


Julie Anne Castro

There she was in her mom’s shop
The little girl was named lollipop
She loved making cupcakes
And selling them at the lake

Her cupcakes were yummy
They always filled your tummy
They made you feel surprised
Because it ate up all your lies

She was afraid of what people would say
But, she remembered a time when her friend ate one and said it was OK
So, she thought about what she would do
She wanted her friends to help out too

Lollipop went to the lady that lived in a boot
When she rang the bell and it went toot-toot
She too the lady’s advice
Then cooked her some rice

There she was in her shop
The big girl’s name was lollipop
She achieved her dream
And whenever someone ate her cupcake they screamed.

Back to Poems




Select Poems