Local teacher wins poetry award

Writing poetry and fiction has always been a major part of Justin Hamm's life, even when he is limited to writing long hand right before he goes to sleep.

And his dedication has paid off. The English teacher and baseball coach at North Callaway High School has recently been selected as the recipient of the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize from the St. Louis Poetry Center.

Hamm was selected for his poem “In Case You Were Wondering,” which was published in Big Muddy, a semi-annual publication that includes pieces such as poetry and fiction.

The poem is based on a real life moment between Hamm and his wife in which he reflects on the past and present.

“It dawned on me that my years of being young and doing dumb things really were a long ways behind me,” Hamm said. “But, there's a charm to being young and foolish and I found that I kind of missed it, and so I was trying to figure out if I thought growing up was such a good thing after all.”

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