Bodies Writing Contest Winner

Photo of Dr. Virginia Brackett
Virginia Brackett
Feb 6, 2021

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Dr. Virginia Brackett has won our poetry writing contest on the theme of Bodies with her piece "Side Effects.”

Virginia Brackett’s 16 books have been cited by the New York Public Library; the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association; Tristate Books of Note; the American Library Association, Amelia Bloomer Project; and Booklist (Editor’s Choice, Reference Sources, 2008). Her 2019 memoir, In the Company of Patriots (Sunbury Press), focuses on her father’s death in the Korean Conflict and its effect on her family. She contributed the essay “Effects on Higher Education” to the anthology After the Pandemic: Visions of Life Post Covid-19 (Sunbury Press 2020). She has published many articles, stories, and blog entries for readers of all ages. She has entered winning poetry and fiction in various competitions, including the OWL Canyon Press winter 2018 Hackathon and 2019 initiatives sponsored by the Johnson County Library. Brackett serves on the Kansas City Veterans Writing Team to organize and present writing opportunities for veterans.

Side Effects

. . . may include dizziness, flatulence, nausea,

brief notions of immortality,

headache, joint pain, ear ringing and lead to

a sense of euphoria.

Your body may experience

shortness of breath, sudden comprehension of Neumann’s Theory of Gaming,

night blindness, an irrational desire

for hot beverages, jimmy leg,

and diminished capacity to operate heavy equipment.


Avoid extreme gestures -

Pruning trees in public space,

inviting your cousin to view Mars through a telescope,

selling household items on e-bay,


whistling that certain tune at midnight -

while hosting a body

under the influence.

Reviewed by Library Staff