Psychology major and creative writing and Spanish minor Annemieke Buis ’21 (Christiana, Tennessee) recently won The Annual Brainstorm Poetry Contest from the international literary magazine “Open Minds Quarterly” that will be published this spring. She also had a poem selected as a runner-up that will be published in the fall.
The title of the winning poem is “note to self” and the runner-up is titled “Deduction for Defects.”
“I think promoting creativity is extremely valuable in all its forms, but especially when the art functions to promote awareness, understanding and compassion for all kinds of people,” Buis said. “As someone who lives with bipolar disorder, I know how important it is for voices of all mental states to be heard and avoid stigma. Bipolar disorder, as with other mental difficulties, can be challenging to deal with in day-to-day life, but it can also promote ecstatic bursts of creativity that I can’t imagine living without. I want to embrace the way my mind works, create something beautiful and share it with other people.”
Buis has previously submitted her work to several contests and publications but has never been published in anything larger than a campus literary magazine.
“Publishing allows for more people to have access to my work—more opportunities for understanding and revelations across time and space,” she added. “I am really proud to be formally recognized for my work, especially in such a socially important and beautifully orchestrated international literary magazine.”
The soon-to-be published poem came out of Paul L. Cantrell Professor of English Lisa Williams’ course Poetry of Today.
“I am always happy when our creative writing students have success with their writing, and sometimes that happens while they are still at Centre,” Williams said. “It’s also gratifying that Annemieke’s prize-winning poems developed from poetry exercises in our last class together; sometimes those in-class exercises are exploratory and skill-building, yet they very often result in valuable pieces by students in the class.”
As a creative writing minor, Buis said she wants to spend as much time writing and reading poetry as possible.
“Taking a class that does just that is a perfect way to ensure I spend proper time working on my writing,” she continued. “This was my third class with Lisa Williams, who is not only one of my favorite professors I have ever had but also an indispensable friend and mentor to me. She has supported me through some really challenging times since I have been at Centre and was even willing to meet with me about material outside of class, communicating throughout the summer and breaks. It was Lisa who introduced me to “Open Minds Quarterly,” so I have her to thank for my first major publication.”
by Kerry Steinhofer
April, 29, 2019