News

March 25, 2009

Elizabeth Cortese ’10 and Ross Burlingame ’09 Win Annual Poetry Contests

Poets Carolyn Forche and Katie Ford served as judges and will read their work along with the student winners April 8 and 22

This year’s winner of the MacKnight Black Poetry Competition is English major Ross Burlingame ’09 (Lancaster, Pa.). Rachel Heron ’09 (Downingtown, Pa.), an English and geology double major, and Daniela Duca ’09 (Chisinau, Moldova), double major in biochemistry and international economics & commerce, received honorable mentions. Renowned poet Carolyn Forche served as judge.

English major Elizabeth Cortese ’10 (Pottsville, Pa.) won the Jean Corrie Poetry Competition. Psychology major Lauren Vassallo ’11 (South Huntington, N.Y.) and Carolyn Spalding ’12 (Wyndmoor, Pa.) received honorable mentions. The competition was judged by poet Katie Ford.

The winners of the MacKnight Black Poetry Competition and Forche will read their poems 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, in the Kirby Hall of Civil Rights room 104. The Jean Corrie Poetry Competition winners and Ford will read their work at an ice cream social at 4:10 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, 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.

Forche is a poet, editor, translator, and human rights activist. She is the author of four books of poetry. Her book, The Angel of History (1994), received the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and The Country Between Us (1982) received the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award and the Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets. Her honors include fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a professor of English at Georgetown University.

Ford is the author of two collections of poems, Deposition and Colosseum. In 2008, she received a Lannan Literary Award. She teaches at Franklin & Marshall College, and serves as poetry editor for the New Orleans Review.

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