March 31, 2010

Roxana Rivera poetry contest winners named

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The winners of the annual Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest read their winning works during a poetry reading and awards ceremony this week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

This year’s undergraduate winners are:

First place: Jonathan Veach (Quincy), “Renoir’s Vase of Chrysanthemums.”

Second place: Stephenie DeArcangelis (Crete), “How It Is, Not Why.”

Third place: Rheanna Pulley (Creal Springs), “Mondays in Winter.”

This year’s graduate winners are:

First place: Amie Whittemore, “Lightning Bug Season.”

Second place: Sarah McCartt-Jackson, “Vanishing Point.”

Third place: Ruth Awad, “When My Mother Returned.”

Honorable Mention: Jonathan Travelstead, “Clam Gulch, Alaska.”

The judge for this year’s contest was Lee Ann Roripaugh, a poet and professor at the University of South Dakota. Roripaugh’s recent collection of poetry, “On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year,” is part of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry published by SIU Press. Her other books include “Year of the Snake,” also published by SIU Press, and “Beyond Heart Mountain,” published by Penguin Books. Roripaugh also participated in the memorial reading.

The contest honors Roxana Rivera, a creative writing graduate student from California who died in 2003. This year’s poetry theme was, “Things I Would Do For You.” The contest is open to all students, regardless of major, enrolled at SIUC. Winners receive cash awards.