Marie Howe, State Poet of the State of New York under the auspices of the NYS Writers Institute and Corinne Evens, a philanthropist, in coordination with the Academy of American Poets, the New York State Writers Institute, and the New York State Office of Cultural Education, are pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Poetry Unites contest for the best short essay about a favorite poem. The winners of the contest, which was open to all New York State residents, are in alphabetical order:
Marita Boulos, literacy program coordinator from Rouse's Point, Clinton County, NY, for her straightforward and eloquent prose that candidly brings John Donne’s “Song” into her village.
Rosanna Oh, from Jericho, Long Island, a student, for her deeply personal response to the humility and precision in Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays.”
Matthew Powers, a teacher from Syracuse, NY, for the way he realistically invokes the incantatory and communal nature of poetry in Mark Strand’s “Lines for Winter.”
Paul White a healthcare provider from Cheektowaga, NY, for recognizing the talismanic power and healing capacity of poetry in David Ignatow’s “Sunday at the State Hospital.”
The winners will each be featured in short film profiles directed by Ewa Zadrzynska, which will be posted on Poets.org as well as the State Library, and NYS Writers Institute’s websites, and may be broadcast by public television across the United States. They will be awarded a Certificate of Merit and invited to a celebratory film screening on October 18, 2014 in NYC.
The Jury selection members included:
Marie Howe, State Poet of the State of New York, 2012-2014;
Jeffrey Cannel, Deputy Commissioner, New York State Office of Cultural Education;
Nina Darnton, Author;
Donald Faulkner, Director, New York State Writers Institute;
Edward Hirsch, Poet and Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets;
Robert Pinsky, Poet, former US Poet Laureate and the Founder of Favorite Poem Project;
Ewa Zadrzynska, Writer and Filmmaker.