Students take top honors in statewide poetry contest
RELEASED: November 15, 2007
DANVILLE, KY—Sarabande Books, a non-profit Louisville publishing company for short fiction and poetry, recently held its annual poetry contest for undergraduate students from across Kentucky. This year, Centre students came out in full force: Annie Maggard '08 took first place, and Traci Sprester '08 and Ashley Flesher '09 tied for second.
"My poem, 'In October,' is about autumn and about loss," Maggard says. "It has religious undertones, but its imagery comes from nature. I chose to submit it because I'd written it quite recently, and it felt very relevant and real to me."
Maggard was awarded the top prize: $500, a letterpress broadside of her poem and publication on Sarabande's Web site.
"I was taken by surprise but very excited," she says.
Sprester and Flesher, who tied for second place, were also pleased with their outcomes.
"I've never considered myself to be a poet," Flesher says. "I couldn't believe they thought something I wrote was worthy of a prize."
Sprester recounts a conversation with a Sarabande representative: "The lady I spoke to told me I had won and then continued to go on about how amazing the poets are at Centre College."
Writers at Centre are certainly no strangers to success. Lisa Williams, associate professor of English, was awarded the prestigious 2007 Barnard Women Poets Prize for her collection of poems, Woman Reading to the Sea.
"Lisa Williams is an amazing writer, professor and mentor," Maggard says. "My writing has matured dramatically at Centre, and I attribute the improvement to Lisa's careful attention to detail and dedication to her students."
Student writers may submit their work to Vantage Point, a journal of campus writing edited and published by students several times a year, and they may compete for two prizes in creative writing awarded annually by the program. A growing number of Centre graduates who participate in the creative writing program report that their poems and stories are getting published.
Maggard, Flesher and Sprester will read their poems on Nov. 18 during a ceremony in Louisville honoring their work.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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