March 24, 2011

Winners of Roxana Rivera poetry contest named

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- An alumna of the creative writing master of fine arts program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale selected the winners of the annual Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest this week.

Sara Burge, a poet and member of the English faculty at Missouri State University, named three undergraduate and three graduate winners.

This year’s undergraduate winners are:

First place: Jonathan Veach (Quincy), “A Death in Baton Rouge.”

Second place: Jeffrey Haynes (Eldorado), “Holy Scripture.”

Third place: Rheanna Pulley (Creal Springs), “Abraham visits Moriah.”

This year’s graduate winners are:

First place: Ruth Awad (Nashville, Tenn.), “Kata Doksa.”

Second place: Jonathan Travelstead (Murphysboro), “Mitch’s Motorcycle Salvage and Rebuild.”

Third place: Mark Jay Brewin, Jr. (Vineland, N.J.), “Mother(‘s).”

Honorable mention: Jonathan Travelstead, “From a Café in Paris.”

Burge is the author of “Apocalypse Ranch,” a poetry collection and the winner of the 2009 De Novo Award from C&R Press. Her poems also appear in “The Virginia Quarterly Review,” “River Styx,” “Cimarron Review,” and other publications.

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.

The event is part of Women’s History Month. The SIUC creative writing program and the women’s studies program co-sponsor this contest.