April 04, 2016

Rivera poetry contest winners named

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – The Department of English and the master of fine arts in creative writing program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale announced the winners of the Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest this week. 

Rivera was a fledgling poet when she came to Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She died in a car accident while a graduate student in the master of fine arts in creative writing program. The impact she had on the program and the people who form it led to the poetry contest in her honor. The contest was formerly the Women’s History Month Poetry Contest. 

The Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest winners receive a cash award. 

The winners this year are:


Samantha Keebler (Carbondale) for “Makanda.”

Kayla Klugow (Amery, Wis.), honorable mention twice.

Graduate students:

Jessica Lynn Suchon (Ann Arbor, Mich.) for “Penumbra.” She also earned an honorable mention.

Emily Rose Cole (Emmaus, Pa.), honorable mention. 

Sarah McCartt-Jackson, SIU alumna and author of the Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize publication “Children Born on the Wrong Side of the River,” was this year’s judge. The contest is open to all students, regardless of major, enrolled at SIU.