A 12-year-old seventh grader at Catahoula Elementary School was recently named a winner in the 1985-86 National Young Writer's Contest.
Theriot's entry was one of approximately 8,000 submissions in this year's competition, which is open to student's across the country in grades one through eight. The works are judged on the basis of grade level, content and grammar. There were 11 other winning authors for Louisiana. Here, then, is Theriot's winning entry:
In a vision
I saw a perfect world,
no burden to carry,
no weight to hold,
no tension or strain,
without pressure or stress,
but only a dream.
When asked what his poem represents, Theriot replied, "everybody wants to throw away their responsibility and just relax all day––but you can't!" He adds, though, that dreams are important because they give people hope for things they think are impossible. The young author goes on to say that "Perception" is one of his favorites, because every time he reads it, he can see something different in it.
Although he plans to continue writing as he grows older, Jude says that he would like to do something in the medical field for a career. His talent as a writer, however, is well documented by the fact that another of his poems was published in a national collection of children's poetry called "Spoofing Folklore and the Child" last year.
Theriot says he writes poetry to express what he thinks is wrong with the world and how to change it. His poems often involve current serious issues, such as the nuclear arms race; his most current work is an essay in favor of letting children with AIDS attend school.