adrianna marie cote poet

2020 – Adrianna Marie Cote

Adrianna was inspired by her creative writing classes at Centennial Collegiate in Saskatoon. “In these classes, I learned that my writing had potential, and through this confidence, pushed myself to write in styles that were new to me. These classes were always a safe space that was always supportive and constructive. Poetry is a style that I experimented with extensively.”

One of Adrianna’s teachers was Mr. Jason Dubray. “When I told him about winning this award,” says Adrianna, “he said that he got his love of writing from Paddy O’Rourke. I was struck with how amazing it is to win this award when my mentorship came from someone whose mentor was Paddy O’Rourke.”

Her submission to the Paddy O’Rourke Poetry Scholarship was considered not only to be the best in its entirety, but also contained “the two best poems” from all those submitted. Judges noted “considerable attention to language and to form. This writer either has read a lot of poetry or has an intuitive feel for it.”

Also a very talented dancer, Adrianna is enrolled in the performing arts program at George Brown College in Toronto.


Math class

The desk beside mine,

to the left.

There she sits

radiating perfection.

Popularity guided by beauty.

Her smile,

She has perfect teeth,

Full lips tinted pink

And dimple dented cheeks.


The perfect adjective

to describe her laugh.

She is happy.

I mean how could she not be?

She has everything.

Friends by the dozen,

Long blonde hair,

Curled to perfection,

And a boyfriend on the football team.

She has everything.

She must feel

On top of the world

right now.

It’s Monday.

I’m in math class.

The desk beside mine,

To the left,

Sits vacant.

She’s gone.

But changing seasons make sneezing and coughing inevitable.

She must have caught it too.

I think nothing of it.

It’s Wednesday.

She’s still gone.

And now I’m at home.

And it’s 3:43 pm.

I’m swiping on a brightly lit screen.

Each post blurring from my memory as I rush to the next.

I only stop,


To double tap with my thumb.

However, there is one picture,

In particular,

That freezes my gaze.

I stay still


Reading the words.

From a cry for help.

But she is pretty!

She’s popular!

She’s perfect!

She’s got everything.

How could she not be happy?

She seemed to be all of that.

And now she’s none of it.

It’s Thursday.

I’m in math class.

The desk beside mine,

To the left,

Sits empty.

And it will stay that way.