High School Students Recognized in UB Poetry Contest

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: May 1, 2006

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Christopher Johnson-Robertson of Buffalo, a student at City Honors High School, has been awarded first-prize in the annual poetry contest for high school students sponsored by the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

Founded by CAS Dean Uday Sukhatme, the poetry contest is part of UB's increased efforts to introduce high school students to UB and its College of Arts and Sciences.

UB is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 27,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. The university offers the only degrees in law, pharmacy and architecture in the SUNY system, and is the home of the only comprehensive public school of engineering in New York State.

Contest entries were judged by Carl Dennis, artist in residence in the UB Department of English in CAS and winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his eighth book of poetry, "Practical Gods."

Participation in the contest continues to grow. This year entries were submitted by more than 1,148 students in the United States, Canada and overseas. Each student was limited to one entry of an original poem in English of 25 or fewer lines.

Western New York-area winners in this year's contest include the first-prize winner and students from Williamsville North High School and Brighton High School in Rochester. Schools with multiple winners were Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, Ala., and Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, N.J.

Cash prizes of $200, $100 and $50 were awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners, respectively. Four fourth-place winners received $25 gift certificates to Barnes and Noble. Fifteen honorable mentions also were awarded. All winners received a copy of "Practical Gods."

In addition to Johnson-Robertson, other winners in the poetry contest are:

• Second place: Carolyn Brett Kerchof of Birmingham, Ala., Alabama School of Fine Arts.

• Third place: Glynnis Ritchie of Birmingham, Ala., Alabama School of Fine Arts.

• Fourth place: Adam Beaudoin of Rockville Centre, N.Y., Lawrence Woodmere Academy, Woodmere, N.Y.; Chiara Di Lello of New York City, Hunter College High School, New York City; Henry Leung of Alameda, Calif., Alameda Community Learning Center, Alameda, and Maggie Millner of Cherry Valley, N.Y., Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School, Cherry Valley.

Honorable Mentions:

• Diana Chien of Holmdel, N.J., Holmdel High School, Holmdel.

• Olivia Cole of Louisville, Ky., Saint Francis High School, Louisville.

• Anna Dumont, Rochester, N.Y., Brighton High School, Rochester.

• Ettel Edshteyn of Forest Hills, N.Y., Robert F. Wagner Jr., Long Island City, N.Y.

• Rachel Faust of Upper Saddle River, N.J., Northern Highlands Regional High School, Allendale, N.J.

• Dana Virginia Flax of Valatie, N.Y., Ichabod Crane High School, Valatie.

• Karen Guan of Prospect, Ky., duPont Manual High School, Louisville, Ky.

• Angeli Lagasca of Bellerose, N.Y., Archbishop Molloy High School, Briarwood, N.Y.

• Isabelle Lauerman of Grosse Point, Mich., Grosse Point South High School, Grosse Point Farms, Mich.

• Jamie MacGillis of Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., Northern Highlands Regional High School.

• Rachel Nicolosi of Getzville, Williamsville North High School, Williamsville.

• Mia Osborn of Steele, Ala., Alabama School of Fine Arts.

• Michael Rosen of Upper Saddle River, N.J., Northern Highlands Regional High School.

• Libby Thomas of Hoover, Ala., Alabama School of Fine Arts.

• Lauren Witter of Brooklyn, N.Y., Brooklyn Technical High School, Brooklyn.