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Sophomore Wins Poetry Prize

By Lauren Cooper ’16 on May 07, 2014 12:31 PM

Reed College poetry prize

English major Hannah Fung-Weiner ’16 nabs the Mary Barnard Academy of American Poets Prize.

Congratulations to English major Hannah Fung-Weiner ’16, whose poem “Pact” won this year’s Mary Barnard Academy of American Poets Prize.

The Reed contest was judged by poet Paulann Peterson, a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, who has written six full-length collections of poetry, most recently Understory (Lost Horse Press 2013).

Fung-Weiner wrote “Pact” for her fall semester creative writing class with Prof. Samiya Bashir [creative writing 2012–]. “I was given this list of 10 nouns (brick, chair, artichoke, branch, pine, shrapnel, paper, avocado, corn, iguana) alongside a prompt for a love poem,” she says. “My first draft of 'Pact' contained each word; several iterations later, none survive.”

Reed’s contest is named in honor of distinguished poet Mary Barnard ’32, whose translations of Sappho and other classic poets won international acclaim. She is the subject of a new book by Sarah Barnsley ’95Mary Barnard, American Imagist.

The prize is sponsored by the Academy of Poets through its University and College Poetry Prize Program, which operates at 200 colleges and universities nationwide, and comes with a purse of $100.