Topeka West grad wins $10,000 scholarship for poem in national contest


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A local high school graduate took home first place in a publisher’s national writing contest.

Topeka West High School graduate Kiora Brooks won the Maya Angelou Spoken Word category of Penguin Random House’s Creative Writing Contest. Her poem “The Misinterpretation of Dark Skin,” earned her a $10,000 scholarship and a trip to New York City to meet published authors and editors.

Topeka Public Schools congratulated Brooks online, and shared a reading of her award-winning poem:

The Misinterpretation of Dark Skin – Kiora Brooks, Senior, Topeka West High School

The month of February is #BlackHistoryMonth, and schools all over the district have been celebrating and observing in different ways. Last month, Living the Dream Inc. of Topeka held a poetry contest in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Kiora Brooks, a senior at Topeka West High School won first place in the 11th-12th grade division for her original poem entitled "The Misinterpretation of Dark Skin." 🙌🏾✨ The video below shows Kiora performing her poem, reminding us of the importance of acceptance, respect and honoring those who have come before us. #WeAreTPS

Posted by Topeka Public Schools on Monday, February 18, 2019

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