Hiram College

Congratulations to the following Hiram poets, winners of the 2008 Vachel Lindsday Poetry contest:

First Place: Ryan King
Second Place: Katey Lauer
Third Place: Ashley Nuzzi

Honorable Mentions:
Eli Walker
Dan Scott

Judge George Bilgere’s comments on the poems are below.  To read the poems in full, please go to:

First Place: “A Feeling Movement”
Ryan King
“This extraordinary dramatic monologue, written in the voice of a young woman saved from the concentration camp because of her musical talent, is a powerful and almost unbearably poignant poem. From the first lines, which describe the barking of the camp dogs, to the middle section, a description of her hands which “talked / With Russian accents” as she played Rachmaninoff for her captor, to the diminuendo of the last stanza, which is the sound of his crying, “A Feeling Movement” is full of music and anguish and breathtaking imagination.”

Second Place: “Passing”
Katey Lauer
“The bland, understated humor of this poem’s first lines*”Nothing says I love you like / Weather-resistant roses”*doesn’t prepare the reader for the moving and original exploration of grief that follows. I loved how the poet creates a taxonomy of mourning that somehow captures both the absurdity and the touching, inarticulate sincerity of America.”

Third Place: “Bodies”
Ashley Nuzzi
“When I read these lines: “The Moon / pulls the ocean back from the dead / *raking in bloated images of itself,” I was startled into saying “oh!” aloud. That’s how I respond to something perfectly right and inevitable. Every line of this marvelous poem reminds us why poetry is important in the first place: it scours, cleans, and renews the language.”


Honorable Mentions

“An Elegy for Guy Fawkes”
Eli Walker
“There’s a wonderfully urbane ease and deftness to these lines. I’m reminded of John O’Hara at his freewheeling best. I had no idea where this broad and adventurous poem would take me, but I was delighted to go along for the ride.”

“The Cunning Craft”
Dan Scott
“This poet has a gift for describing the familiar world in ways that make it brand spanking new. The lines about the “A.D.D. chickadee / Who jerks her head at even a moment’s tick, a flea,” is worth the price of admission in itself.”