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Student Poetry Awards 2009: A Night of Recognition and Entertainment

On April 28, 2009,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 Texas poet Mr. Budd Powell Mahan of Dallas, TX. Following a reception and book signing, the event drew students and members of the community for a night of poetry and performance. This year, in addition to the trophies and certificate, we had a special award surprise for our student poets. Anonymous donors made a special gift to the university in honor of the UT Tyler Friends of the Arts. This allowed us to give a monetary award to our poets, and we would like to thank those donors for their generosity in encouraging our poets. The funds will be deposited into their student accounts. This year's winners (with the monetary award in parenthesis) are:
  1. Tina Bausinger for "A Concerned Friend" ($100).
  2. Jason Mars for "My America" ($75).
  3. Caleb Krause for "Dada" ($50).
  4. George Mitchell for "Not Easily Broken, I stand" ($25).
The winners for first, second, and third place received a trophy; fourth place winner received a certificate. They all received a signed copy of Mr. Mahan's book Falling to Earth as well. The poems were judged by a 5 judge panel: two librarians, two members of the English Department faculty, and a local professional poet. In the interest of disclosure, I was not one of the judges. After opening remarks by Library Director Jeanne Pyle, local poet and friend of the library Anne McCrady (link to her blog here) gave the introduction for Mr. Budd Powell Mahan. McCrady described Mr. Mahan as an inspiration and the face of the Poetry Society of Texas. Mr. Mahan is a past president of the Texas Poetry Society. She also spoke of Mr. Mahan's generosity with new and upcoming poets as well as his active involvement with poetry and the poetry organizations. After the introduction, Mr. Mahan read from his books Falling to Earth and Harvest. He delighted the audience as he read from his works and talked about his experiences. Known for a warm and heartfelt style, this was evident in his poetry selections for the evening. After Mr. Mahan's performance, the student poets received their awards, and then they read their award winning poems. Their poems were moving and represented a range of themes and images. The library would like to take this opportunity to thank the UT Tyler Friends of the Arts and the members of the Texas Poetry Society for their generosity in making this event possible. Our gratitude to the donors who made the special awards possible. Our thanks as well to Joseph’s for providing the hors d’ouevres. And thank you as well to our panel of judges. You can find photos of the event in the library's Facebook page. We hope to see y'all next year.
Published by root on 08 May

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