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The winners of the annual Jean Corrie Poetry Competition will read their work at a 4:10 p.m. ice cream social today in the Faculty Dining Room, Marquis Hall.

The event is free and open to the public.

Sophomores Matthew Parrott and Molefi Asante earned first prize in the Corrie competition, which is open to first-year students, sophomores, and juniors.

Parrott, a government and law major from Columbia, Md., won for “Like a Dali clock, I work.” The winning poem for Asante, an International Affairs major from Philadelphia, Pa., is titled “Like Water Running off My Back.”

Honorable mention went to sophomores Creighton Conner and Olivia Tusinski, Conner of Lewisburg, Pa., was cited for “The Poppy Cake” and Tusinski, an anthropology and sociology major from Bernardston, Mass., was honored for an untitled poem.

The judge of the competition, Beth Seetch, lecturer in English and coordinator of Lafayette’s College Writing Program, will also read her work.

“I am fascinated by the qualities the two winning poems have in common,” says Seetch. “Both Matthew Parrott and Molefi Asante demonstrate an eagerness to play with words and imagery while at the same time taking their language seriously. By ‘seriously,’ I mean that these poets’ playfulness leads them to explore the richness of our American language, to find out more about its history and how it works, and then to use that complexity in their poems. Both poems employ subject matter that, in other hands, could have fallen into cliché.”

“And don’t both honorably mentioned poems know how to end well?” adds Seetch. “Creighton Conner’s poem is constructed with the care and patience of craft. Olivia Tusinski knows how to make free verse fulfill its organic form. I look forward to seeing and hearing more work by these four poets in The Marquis literary magazine and all the other spaces for poetry on campus.”

In the fall, Seetch taught an interdisciplinary seminar called Why Poetry Matters for first-year students. She was conference co-chair for the 18th National Conference for Peer Tutors in Writing at Muhlenberg College in November. She also was among the organizers last year of the annual Lehigh Valley Association for Independent Colleges Fall Workshop. She earned her master’s degree from the University of Colorado.

Categorized in: Academic News