Poetry Reading and Prize Announcement by Kate Northrop

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Photo by Jiuxing June Xie.

Yesterday, poet Kate Northrop from her recent works and announced this year’s student prizes in poetry. Students, faculty and community members filled Kohlberg’s Scheuer room as Northrop introduced the list of winners for this year.

Northrop has published three poetry collections: Clean, Things Are Disappearing Here, and Back Through Interruption. She is also the author of two chapbooks: Evening and Through Which Footsteps. Born and raised in Berks Country, Pennsylvania, Northrop received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and her MFA from the University of Iowa, and is currently teaching in the MFA program at the University of Wyoming.

Prior to announcing the winners, Northrop shed light on the experience of selecting a poetry winner and the difficulty she faced in terms of forming criteria for judging poetry. Some of the aspects she ultimately focused on were strength in image-making, seriousness of subject matter, richness in music, and most importantly a “poem with something totally unexpected yet totally inevitable,” said Northrop.

Nat Sufrin ’11 and Hadley Roach ’11 received Honorable Mentions for the John Russell Hayes Poetry Prize. Nick Gettino ’13 received an Honorable Mention for the Lois Morrell Poetry Prize. Winners of the John Russell Hayes Prizes were James Preimesberger ’11 and Aakash Suchak ’11. The winner of the Lois Morrell Poetry Prize was Ben Ellentuck ’14.

After announcing each winner, Northrop shared the poems written by the students with the audience and then her own. Her poems with topics ranging from the feeling of an old home to the 17th Century Countess Elizabeth Bathory all shared a common exploration of emotions and depth of expression.

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