The Baaaaad Valentine’s Day Poem Contest

Ashlea Daniels, Staff Writer

About 12 years ago at Plant High School, English teacher Mary Bell created the Baaaaad Valentine’s Day Poem contest.

“I just thought it would be a funny thing to do. Actually, it just started with one class and then it just grew,” said Bell.

This contest is a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and it also teaches Bell about the personalities of the students that enter.

“It’s really funny [because] sometimes you’ll see someone who’s a really quiet kid [that] suddenly comes out with something hilarious,” she said.

Bell loves this contest and shares with her students every year. She uses this contest as an exciting and easy assignment, which both she and her students enjoy.

“You’re always surprised by the ideas that people come up with, and the way they use language, and the irony, the little twist endings. Those are what make them great [poems] and it’s just one of those things you just know a great bad Valentine’s Day poem when you see it.”

Anyone can enter the contest and there are hardly any stipulations for the poems. They can be any length or font, the paper can be decorated and up to two poems can be submitted per person. The only restrictions are it has to have a relevance to Valentine’s Day and it has to be school appropriate.

“I’m just really happy that we have the contest, I have a great time doing it every year. It’s a lot of work, but I love it and look forward to it every single year,” said Bell.