Each year, students from around the city of Chicago are invited to add their voices to the Auditorium Theatre’s Too Hot to Handel celebration by submitting original poetry for our Too Hot Poetry Contest. Chicago students, grades 3-12, entered this year’s contest by responding to one of two prompts: “What is community?” or “What does beloved community mean to you?”

Congratulations to our two winners and first runner-up. They will each be performing prior to one of the performances this weekend. We also invite you to take a moment at intermission to celebrate all the young poets who entered and whose poems are on display in our lobby space.

Thank you to Allstate for their generous support of the Too Hot Poetry Contest and all of our Too Hot to Handel education and outreach initiatives.

On this road there are abundance of faces,
Boys and girls, from different places
All searching for an answer in the land of opportunity
Only to realize the solution is community
On this road, we search for solidarity
But foolishly and mistakenly, we awaken imparity
Ups and downs, twists and turns
We’ve ignited a fire
But on this beloved road
We will not burn.

Written by Too Hot Poetry Contest Winner: Jasmine Wilson
Rowe Clark Math and Science Academy
High School

Is it the love of others?
The help from home
From when it doesn’t matter the color
You can say bye and hello, on your phone
Where no one’s alone
Together we stand, in heaven and land
Beloved community, the time you help clean
Stop the bad from happening on your streets
The family love we keep, from awake to sleep
Teaching kids to read, teach them the right thing
Help them understand life is everything but diamonds and rings
A community is love, justice, freedom, truth and peace, also you and me

Written by Too Hot Poetry Contest Winner: Travianna Archer
Nicolson STEM Academy
Grade 7

Dear Beloved Community
Our differences are the key
Together we are not separate
Together we are free
Dear beloved community
Today we look at our history
Together at last
We changed our past
And made some new memories
Dear beloved community
We set our descendants free
For we are descendants of those
Who had passed.

Written by Too Hot Poetry Contest Runner-Up: Jaiden Bestman
Philip Rogers Elementary School
Grade 4