SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Young poets from Carbondale and Chicago are the winners of the Illinois state Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced this year’s winners as part of the annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition. Top prize went to Anita Olivia Koester of Chicago for her poem “Avowal.” Second place went to Faisal Mohyuddin of Chicago and third place to Bryce Berkowitz of Carbondale. The winning poems can be read online .

The three will receive their awards during an Illinois State Library ceremony. The competition is named for late Pulitzer Prize-winning Illinois poet laureate Gwendolyn Brooks. It’s co-sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book and Kevin Stein, the state’s current poet laureate.

White says the competition was created to promote creative writing and recognize new literary talent.

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