Young poets are honored at awards banquet

Justin Armburger

Freshman fine arts major Kaleena Spackman received the Wick Poetry Scholarship for winning the Honors College competition for her poem “Bones”. ABRA WILLIAMS-WITZKY | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

“Graci,” Danielle Seidita said as she thanked the crowd after reading her poem, titled “PASTA E ASPARAGI (SOLO PUNTE).”

As Seidita sat down, Marianne Jackson, a Wick Fellow, walked up to the podium.

“Can you imagine how happy I am she showed up to read her poem?” Jackson said.

As the crowd of more than 50 laughed, Jackson introduced other poets who were honored in the Kiva yesterday afternoon during “Celebrating Our Own: 2007 Wick Poetry Scholarship Winners.”

President Lefton, who gave a brief speech at the beginning of the event, referred to it as an expression of excellence in action.

“It is especially great to prove the literary arts are alive, well and thriving in our community,” Lefton said.

Nine students were honored at the celebration, each getting to read his or her poems to the crowd.

Megan Giel won the high school competition for her poem “Words,” while Kaleena Spackman won the honors college competition for her poem ” Bones.”

“It feels good to read your work to the public,” said Seidita, who graduated from Kent State in May. “I feel grateful that someone put me behind the mic and I got to read a little bit of my work.”

The event was headlined by Kent State alumnus Tony Trigilio. Trigilio, who graduated from Kent State in 1986, is currently the director of creative writing and poetry at Columbia College Chicago.

Trigilio recently won the Three Candles Press first book award for his poetry collection “The Lama’s English Lessons.”

While attending Kent State, Trigilio won the 1986 Wick Undergraduate Scholarship, for his poem titled “For a friend whose rat died of an inner ear infection.”

When people ask Trigilio what it’s like to come back to Kent State, he usually does not know how to reply.

“Everything smells like it used to smell,” Trigilio said. “This is where I learned how to write and think.”

The Wick Poetry Center, which put on the event, has been giving undergraduate students and incoming freshman tuition scholarships in poetry for more than 20 years.

According to the pamphlet handed out at the event, the center awards of $20,000 worth of scholarships each year. Beginning in 2008, it will award over $37,000 in scholarships annually.

Contact science reporter Justin Armburger at [email protected].