Raynham Hall Museum Celebrates Valentine’s Day

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Photo courtesy Unsplash

Students to be awarded for writing about love and the holiday

Raynham Hall Museum is excited to announce a 2023 Valentine’s Day Poetry Contest for students in grades 4 to 6. Raynham Hall is home to the first documented Valentine’s poem in the USA. At the height of the Revolutionary War, on Feb. 14, 1779, Lt. Col. John Graves Simcoe, commander of the British regiment the Queen’s Rangers, presented young Sally Townsend with a poem, which read in part, “To you my heart I must resign, O choose me for your Valentine!”
Students may enter by writing a poem of any kind, no longer than 26 lines, on the topic of love or Valentine’s Day. Entries are limited to one per person, and must be received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. Due to the large volume of submissions, poems cannot be returned to their authors. There will be first-place, second-place, and honorable mention winners. An awards ceremony will be held on Monday, Feb. 13 at 4 p.m. at Raynham Hall Museum. Winners’ family, friends, and teachers are invited.
The competition will be reviewed by a distinguished panel of judges, including: George Wallace, Writer in Residence at the Walt Whitman Birthplace and first poet laureate of Suffolk County; Dr. Francesco Ianni, Oyster Bay-East Norwich Superintendent of Schools; and Elaine Palmer, retired educator and Raynham Hall board member. Students and teachers can email valentines@raynhamhallmuseum.org with questions.
About Raynham Hall Museum: Raynham Hall was the home of Robert Townsend, a central member of George Washington’s Culper Spy Ring. The home was occupied by British officer Lt. Col. John Graves Simcoe during the Revolutionary War. Transformed into a Victorian villa in the 1850s, the house offers two eras of interpretation, with the front of the house showcasing the period of the Revolution, and the back of the house preserving a late 19th-century aesthetic. Visit Raynham Hall Museum at 30 W Main St, Oyster Bay, NY 11771, call 516-922-6808, or visit https://raynhamhallmuseum.org.
—Submitted by Raynham Hall

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