Brimming with PoetsGAMBIER, Ohio (March 8, 2004) If anyone is wondering whether poetry is alive and well among young people, the Kenyon Review can dispel all doubts. The Review's Poetry Prize for Young Writers recently attracted nearly one thousand entries from as far away as Switzerland and Tanzania.
The winner was Emma Hansen, a junior from Peacham, Vermont, whose poem "Good Morning America" merges violent images, like soldiers dying and car bombs exploding, with television commercials for chewing gum and SUVs. Hansen will see her poem published in an upcoming issue of the Review and will receive a full scholarship to attend the journal's intensive two-week writing workshop this summer.
"It was very, very hard to select from so many deserving entries," says Review Editor-in-Chief David Lynn, who judged the contest together with acclaimed poet David Baker, the journal's poetry editor. Twenty Kenyon students, most of whom serve as associates at the Review, helped them narrow the field, first to fifty semifinalists, and then to six finalists.
The second and third place winners will also have their poems published. Sarah Winsberg, a sophomore from Rochester, New York, took second place for "Evolution," and Amrita Khalid, a sophomore from Idyllwild, California, garnered third place for "Apology for the Death of Your Father." Three entries were awarded honorable mention. They are "Lynching: 1998" by Andrea Harris, "God" by Mai Schwartz, and "Naming Last Names" by Talia Hershewe. All six winning entries are available online at www.kenyonreview.org.
The next poetry contest for young writers will be held this coming fall.