Even though Ashley Garrett passed away eight years ago, her spirit lives on through the Auxvasse Creative Arts Program-which provides various art-based programs for children.
"She loved children," said Carolyn Horstmeier, Garrett's mother. "She loved art and anything poetry because she thought they could express themselves. She thought that was the best way (because) it was less intimidating and so we thought this was one of many ways we could honor her memory."
One of the events the art program hosts is an annual youth poetry contest held during National Poetry Month, in conjunction with the Callaway County public library.
This year's theme was "where I'm from." Some participants wrote about their physical home and others wrote about the importance of family. One poet wrote about his roots in America and how he is from his ancestors before him.
The judge was Anne-Marie Thompson, an English professor at Westminster College. Thompson's own poems have appeared in publications such as The Hopkins Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Ploughshares and Southwest Review.