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Sheer poetry on St. Patrick’s Day

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celticmusic.jpgMonday was not only St. Patrick’s Day, but it was also a celebration of the 15th Annual Evening of Women’s Poetry held in the Heathwell Lounge in the Occhiato Student Center at 7 p.m. Poetry contest winners were announced and entertainment was provided by singer songwriters Kim McKee and Ken Willson who performed Ceilidh music for the audience.

Professor Margaret Barber of the English and foreign language departments, opened the evening with her thoughts on the event and welcoming McKee and Willson.

“All of these writers are expressing senses of their identity through poetry,” Barber said.

In addition, Barber said she appreciated all the poets who entered in each of the divisions.

There were five categories in which people could enter the poetry contest featured within the evening’s events. People of appropriate ages were welcomed to enter in the following divisions; middle school, high school, college, and an open category which was open to all community members.

In particular from the community entries, Barber announced that the oldest poet, who entered the contest, was 94 year old Ethyl Harriman. Barber referred to one of Harriman’s poem, I Cried Oceans of Tear Drops, and said that she honored to have her enter the contest.

“This shows us that you should never stop writing,” Barber said, “no matter how old we get or what happens in our lives.”

As for the college level, there were three honorable mentions in addition to the top three prizes.

An honorable mention went to CSU-Pueblo student Olivia Cracvin for her poem, Tuatha de Danaan. Also receiving honors was CSU-Pueblo student Marie Maes for Pancho Villa. Lastly, CSU-Pueblo Senior English major Rhonda Turner for Song for Ruth and I want.

Third place was awarded to CSU-Pueblo junior English major Kiersten Yanni for her poem At the Natarama Church-Rwanda. Yanni received a $10 cash prize for her third place finish. Receiving a $15 cash prize and second place was CSU-Fort Collins student Eryn Rieple for A Cup of Coffee.

The first place prize was a tie and it was given to two CSU-Pueblo students. Senior English major Juliana Fatula was one of the winners with her poem Picking Flowers in My Chicana Garden. Also, Fatula recently had a book of poetry accepted for publication by XXXX Press, according to Barber. In addition to Fatula, junior English major Joette Ucar also received first prize for her poem To Possible Enemies. Both students received $25 cash prizes for their first place finishes.

Barber asked Ucar to read her poem to the audience, but Fatula was unable to attend and read her first prize poem as well.

All of the poets receiving honorable mentions and top three prizes were also given a bouquet of carnations dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day.

After all awards were given, Barber turned the evening over to McKee and Willson who performed for the conclusion of the evening. In addition, Mckee and Willson also performed for Barber’s Scottish literature courses on Tuesday.

In addition, Barber announced another night of creative writing which will be held by the Colorado Reading Series on Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the First Year Center. The author reading for the event is Annie Dawid.

Barber also said she encourages all CSU-Pueblo students to enter the Creative Writing Awards Contest. Students can enter work in the following genres of prose, poetry, drama, and children’s fiction.

First, second and third prizes in all categories will also be published in the 2008-2009 issue of the Hungry Eye. All other entries will be considered for publication as well. The submission deadline is April 1. For more information and submission guidelines, contact English Professor Juan Morales at 549-2082.