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Student Poetry Awards: A Night of Verse and Friends

On Tuesday, April 29, 2008, the UT Tyler Robert R. Muntz Library held its Annual Student Poetry Awards. This was the library's capstone even for National Poetry Month. The event took place at Braithwaite Auditorium. The keynote was delivered by the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate Mr. Larry D. Thomas. Following a reception and book signing, the event drew students and members of the community for a night of poetry and performance. We had 34 entries this year in the contest. The winners of the contest this year were:
  1. Jesse Florendo for "Japan Sketch #1."
  2. Conor Herterich for ""Epitaph."
  3. Paige Hayter for "Ode to the Gardenia."
  4. Carly Thompson for "The Need for a Story."
  • And honorable mention to Jesse Florendo for "Frankenstein's Creature Finds Solace."
Local poet and friend of the library Anne McCrady (link to her blog here) was one of the judges for the contest. She also gave the introduction for Larry Thomas during the event. McCrady described Mr. Thomas as an inspiration to her and other poets. She also added that Mr. Thomas's poetry comes from the heart of a visual artist. In addition, McCrady observed that Mr. Thomas sees the job of poet laureate as a gift to the people of Texas. After the introduction, Mr. Thomas went right on with the poetry. He talked about himself, his writing, and then delighted the audience with selections of his poetry. Mr. Thomas took the audience on a tour of Texas from West to East with poems like "Wind," "Neches River," "Out of the blue," and "Apricots." After the reading, Mr. Thomas took questions and comments from the audience. Next came the award ceremony. As part of the ceremony, the winners were asked to read their pieces. They delighted the audience with their craft and diversity of themes and images in their verse. Winners received a trophy and a signed copy of Mr. Thomas's new book. The library would like to take this opportunity to thank The Friends of the Arts and the members of the Texas Poetry Society for their generosity in making this event possible. Our thanks as well to Joseph's for providing the hors d'ouevres. In addition, I took some photos of the event, which interested readers can see over in my Flickr page here.
Published by root on 13 May

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