In honor of National Poetry Month, The Academy of American Poets sponsors a contest each year for undergraduate writers at colleges and universities throughout the country. This year, The Central Pen Poetry Prize’s panel of judges, a group of distinguished professors and writers, received numerous high quality entries. The competition was fierce, but in the end, three emerging wordsmiths rose to the surface. I am pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Central Pen Poetry Prize. They are:
Third Place: Story of a Dark Skin Beauty by Nautica Chance
In the words of one distinguished judge: “It’s a powerful and emotional narrative about a pain that is all too real.”
Nautica performed this poignant poem at Central Penn College’s first Kwanzaa celebration last December, and its power resonates whether one hears it on the stage or reads it on the page. Nautica will receive $25.
“Potent imagery,” commented one judge, “[Teta] delivers a strong sense of self and place with an appreciation of self and history and the connections in between. Strong and eloquent.”
Teta, president of the Knight Writers’ Creative Writing Club, speaks out in the spirit of ancestral pride in this cultural anthem. She will receive $50.00.
First Place: One of Those Days by Mary Weingartner
Mary’s poem began as a writing prompt in her ENG300 Creative Writing class. A blend of ekphrastic writing (writing inspired by art) and emotionalism, this well-formed free verse poem is a vivid word-painting. One of the judges said, “This poem has a strong emotional impact…the ending is amazing!”
Mary will receive $100.00 and a year’s membership in the Academy of American Poets as well as the chance to be entered into the Academy’s national prize that will award the winning student $1,000.
On behalf of The Central Pen staff, the distinguished judges and the Dean of Humanities and Sciences, special thanks go out to all of the students that worked hard to polish their poems and submit them. As stated previously, the competition was fierce. All of these budding artists created beautiful and thought provoking work. Continue writing because you are all incredibly talented!
Keep your eye on updates from The Central Pen. The Summer Poetry Slam, a spoken word poetry competition is Wednesday, September 7th at 7pm in the Capital BlueCross Theatre! We want to hear your voices.
To enter the slam or to get more information about The Knight Writers Creative Writing Club or The Central Pen, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or see me, Professor Maria Thiaw in Bollinger 46.