The UT Tyler Robert R. Muntz Library hosted the 2010 Student Poetry Awards on Tuesday, April 13, 2010. This was the library’s capstone event for National Poetry Month
. The event took place at Braithwaite Auditorium. Our keynote poet for the evening was Karla Morton
, the 2010 Texas Poet Laureate. After the reception and book signing, the event drew students and members of the community for an evening of verse and recognition.
The 2010 winners of the Student Poetry Contest are:
- First Place: Laura Ragsdale for "and linger and orbit."
- Second Place: Jennifer Simmons for "Stream of Consciousness."
- Third Place: Tina Bausinger for "Remember Us."
- Fourth Place: Felicia Gonzalez for "Sleep Chamber."
Trophies were awarded for first, second, and third place. Fourth place received a certificate. All winners received a money voucher that can be used in the campus bookstore, and it is good for up to a year. They also received a signed copy of Karla Morton's book Redefining Beauty
. A panel of five judges made the choices: 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.
I provided some opening remarks. Anne McCrady (link to her blog here
), award winning East Texas poet and friend of the library, then gave an introduction for Karla Morton. McCrady talked about the many lessons she had learned from Karla over time.
After the introduction, Karla Morton read from her works and talked about the craft of poetry. Her love for Texas and poetry were evident in her verses and her enthusiastic and warm performance. After Morton's performance, the student poets were invited on stage to receive the awards. Karla Morton and Mr. Jim Ewbank, representing the UT Tyler Friends of the Arts, presented the awards. The students read their poems for the audience. This years' poets brought to the stage a broad range of moving verses and imagery in their poems.
The Muntz Library would like to take a moment to thank the UT Tyler Friends of the Arts for their generosity, which made this event possible. We would also like to thank the Texas Poetry Society for their assistance, and I would like to thank Anne McCrady for her assistance and support.
Readers can find photos of the event at the library's Facebook page here
Karla Morton of Denton, TX. 2010 Texas Poet Laureate. She has been described as "one of the more adventurous voices in American poetry."