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Charleston Student Named a National Student Poet

  • Winslow Hastie, Jr., a senior at the Charleston County School of the Arts (SOA), uses nature and the outdoors as common themes in his poetry and short stories. Living in Charleston most of his life, Winslow takes in his surroundings to inspire his work by letting his appreciation for the Lowcountry, a geographic region along South Carolina’s coast, shine through.

    Hastie is one of five students recently named to the 2022 class of National Student Poets, the nation’s highest honor for youth poets. The poets represent five geographical regions of the nation.

    Throughout their year of service, the poets will serve as literary ambassadors and share their passion for poetry and the literary arts with their communities and throughout their regions. Student poets will participate in service projects, workshops, and public readings and will receive a $5,000 academic award.

    A member of the creative writing program at SOA, Hastie began writing poetry in elementary school and continued into middle and high school.

    “He came into our program in sixth grade with a distinct voice, a keen eye for detail, and a deep-seated love for the natural wonders of the Lowcountry,” said Beth Webb Hart, a creative writing teacher at SOA. “Through the years, he has – with genuine ardor – steadfastly honed these gifts to become not only a stellar wordsmith but also, an encourager to his classmates, whom he challenges and uplifts on a daily basis in our writing workshop. He’s going to be an exceptional poetry ambassador."

    The National Student Poets Program was founded in 2011 and is a partnership of the Institute of Museum Library Services and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. The National Student Poets were selected from high school sophomores and juniors who submitted more than 22,000 pieces of poetic work for consideration. From the entries, 40 semi-finalists were then identified and invited to submit additional poetry and performance videos to distinguished jurors for the final selection of five National Student Poets.