The Rapidian

UICA hosts Dyer-Ives 47th annual poetry competition

The Dyer-Ives foundation gave awards to nine people, with honorary awards to two published authors and local professors, Rod Torreson and Linda Nemec Foster.
Student presenting an honor award.

Student presenting an honor award.

The 47th annual Dyer-Ives Foundation poetry awards celebration was held at the UICA on June 6, 2015. 

Two local poets and professors, Linda Nemec Foster and Rod Torreson, were given special honors as part of the event.

A large audience gathered on the fourth floor of the UICA to hear poetry from winning poets in three divisions: elementary, student and adult. The elementary division included work from Gray Butler, who is 8 years old. The other two winners, Alex Cersosimo and Paul Wisneski, are teenagers. 

Rod Torreson was presented an award of honor by one of his former students, Samantha Mikita.

"I became a poet because I was extremely inarticulate," Torreson says. "It is not me, but the Dyer-Ives Foundation, that is being honored." 

Linda Nemec Foster thanked the the Dyer-Ives Foundation for encouraging from the very beginning. Foster has a long history of entering the competition, but admitted that she wasn't always chosen. She entered entered the contest over 40 years ago, and says that even though she didn't win in her category, the Dyer-Ives Foundation Poetry Competition still included and honored her in their celebration of local poets.

Readings from the student division included Katie Dooley, Patricia Schlutt and Kelsey May. May says this was her first time ever being invited to a reading, and did not expect such a large turn out. May recited a poem named "Burdens on a Wednesday morning at a restaurant on the way to Alabama." The poem highlight racial tension that still exists in 2015. 

Awards were also given to an adult division to Amy Carpenter Leugs, Molly Batchik and Lisa Gundry. 

The initial goal of the Dyer-Ives poetry competition was "to encourage excellence in writing and provide recognition for local work of high quality." The foundation continues to work to uphold that goal with this competition.

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