March 12, 2010

Max Minckler ’10 and Amanda Whitbred ’11 Win Annual Poetry Contests

Poets Major Jackson and Yolanda Wisher Palacio ’98 served as judges and will read their work along with the student winners April 22 and 29

This year’s winner of the MacKnight Black Poetry Competition is English major Max Minckler ’10 (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Margaret Schierberl ’10 (West Hartford, Conn.), a philosophy major; Hannah Smock ’10 (Stanhope, N.J.), a double major in international affairs and Russian and East European studies; and Adriane Marcellus ’10 (Earlville, N.Y.), an English major, received honorable mentions. Renowned poet Major Jackson served as judge.

Amanda Whitbred ’11 (Doylestown, Pa.), an English and philosophy double major, took first place in the Jean Corrie Poetry Competition. English majors Carolyn Spalding ’12 (Wyndmoor, Pa.) and Michele Tallarita ’12 (Whitehall, Pa.) won honorable mentions. The competition was judged by Yolanda Wisher Palacio ’98.

The winners of the MacKnight Black Poetry Competition and Jackson will read their poetry at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 22, in the Kirby Hall of Civil Rights room 104. Earlier at 4:10 p.m., Jackson will hold a question-and-answer session in the Marlo Room of Farinon College Center. The Jean Corrie Poetry Competition winners and Wisher will read their work at an ice cream social at 4:10 p.m. Thursday, April 29, in Marquis Hall, faculty dining room.

Open to seniors, the MacKnight competition is named for MacKnight Black ’16, who at the time of his death in 1931 was one of America’s most significant poets. The Corrie competition includes entries from first-year students, sophomores, and juniors and is supported by the Academy of American Poets. Both competitions are sponsored by the department of English and the Office of the Vice President for Institutional Planning and Community Engagement.

Jackson is the author of two collections of poetry: Hoops (2006) and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. His third volume of poetry Holding Company is forthcoming from W.W. Norton. He served as a creative arts fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and as the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence at University of Massachusetts-Lowell. He is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at University of Vermont and serves as the poetry editor for the Harvard Review.

Wisher was named the first poet laureate of Montgomery County, Pa. in 1999. Her work has been published in the journals Ploughshares, Meridians, Fence, nocturnes, and Chain, as well as the anthologies Gathering Ground and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. She is chair of the annual Germantown Poetry Festival and teaches English at Germantown Friends School.

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