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Lafayette’s celebration of National Poetry Month in April will feature readings by the winners of the annual Jean Corrie and MacKnight Black student poetry competitions; other student poets; alumni Ross Gay ’96, Leslie Hobayan ’95, and Yolanda Wisher ’98, and guest poets Len Roberts and Alicia Ostriker.

Events are free and open to the public.

The winners of the Jean Corrie Poetry Competition will read their work at the Jean Corrie Poetry Reading and Ice Cream Social, 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in the faculty dining room, Marquis Hall. Also reading will be poet, translator, and professor Len Roberts, judge of this year’s competition.

For the second straight year, top prize in the Corrie competition went to Rebecca Novia, a junior art major from Easton, Conn. Her winning entry is entitled “Thirst.” Honorable mention went to Ian Bibby, a junior Bethesda, Md., for “Illness,” and Liza Zitelli, a junior English major from Bergenfield, N.J., for “Guilt Blanket.” The Corrie contest, sponsored by the Department of English and the Academy of American Poets, is open to first-year students, sophomores, and juniors.

Roberts, a professor of English at Northampton Community College, is the recipient of numerous awards for his poems and translations. His latest volume of poetry, The Silent Singer: New and Selected Poems, is scheduled to be published in July by the University of Illinois press.

The winners of the MacKnight Black Poetry Competition, open to seniors, will read their work at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, in the auditorium of Kirby Hall of Civil Rights along with this year’s judge, poet and critic Alicia Suskin Ostriker.

First place was shared by Caitlin Gray, an English major from Easton, Pa., for “Carter Notch, N.H.” and and Andrew Platt, a double major in philosophy and mathematics from West Chester, Pa., for his untitled poem. Four poets received honorable mention, Stephen Chiger, an English major from Westfield, N.J., for “The Fat Kid;” Kim Corbett, a mechanical engineering major from Clifton, N.J., for “Perceptions;” Phil Wingert, a double major in chemical engineering and English from Bethlehem, Pa., for “The Engineer’s Comeback;” and Acelya Yonac, an International Affairs major from Milan, Italy, for “This is the Story.”

Ostriker’s Dancing at the Devil’s Party: Essays on Poetry, Politics and the Erotic was published by the University of Michigan Press in 1999. She also edited and wrote a preface for The Five Scrolls: The Song of Songs, the Book of Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, the Book of Esther, published in December by Vintage in its Spiritual Classics series.

The event is sponsored by the English department and Women’s Studies program. The annual competition is named for MacKnight Black, a 1916 graduate of Lafayette, who at the time of his death in 1931 was one of America’s most significant poets.

Ross Gay, Leslie Hobayan, and Yolanda Wisher will read their poems at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, in the auditorium of Kirby Hall of Civil Rights. A reception will follow. The event is sponsored by the English department.

Creative-writing students of Lee Upton, professor of English and Lafayette’s writer-in-residence, will share their poetry in “Imagination Nation,” a reading scheduled for 7-9:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, in the Farinon Center snack bar. An open mike will follow, and musical interludes will supplement the readings. A door prize will be given at the event, which is co-sponsored by the English department and the Alpha Phi and Kappa Kappa Gamma sororities.

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