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Poetry Contest Seeks Entries from High School Students

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: December 28, 2005

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- High school poets have the opportunity to have their work judged by a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet by participating in the annual UB Poetry Contest, sponsored by the University at Buffalo's College of Arts and Sciences.

The contest, which enables students to learn about the resources in the UB Department of English and underscores the university's well-known commitment to poetics by encouraging young poets, is open to all high school students. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Carl Dennis, writer-in-residence in the UB Department of English, will serve as judge.

Winning poets will read their work and prizes will be awarded at an awards ceremony to be held on April 1 in the Screening Room in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

Cash prizes of $200, $100 and $50 will be awarded to the top three poets. Fourth-place winners each will receive a gift certificate to Barnes & Noble or Chapters. Honorable mentions also will be awarded. All winners will receive an autographed copy of "Practical Gods," Dennis' collection of poetry that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize.

Dennis also will conduct a student poetry workshop the day of the awards ceremony.

The contest was initiated by Uday P. Sukhatme, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, based on one he initiated while serving as interim vice provost for academic affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The contest has proven to be a hit at UB.

"I have received a large number of appreciative comments from high school teachers and counselors who feel the Poetry Contest provides a wonderful outlet for high school students to express their emotions and concerns," said Sukhatme. "The booklet we publish for the winning poems gives students a feeling of accomplishment as published poets," he added.

All entries must be in English and consist of no more than 25 lines. There is no entry fee. Only one poem per contestant may be submitted.

Completed entry forms and entries must be postmarked by mail by the close of business on Feb. 6. They should be mailed to UB Poetry Contest, University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Office, 810 Clemens Hall, Buffalo, New York 14260. Email and fax submissions will not be accepted. Winners will be notified by mail no later than March 17.

In addition to the College of Arts and Sciences, contest sponsors are the UB Center for the Arts; WBFO 88.7 FM, UB's National Public Radio affiliate, ThinkBright, the lifelong learning channel and an online service of WNED-TV, and the UB Humanities Institute.

For more information, call 645-2711 or visit the poetry contest's Web site at http://www.cas.buffalo.edu/outreach/poetry/index.html.