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Victoria Van Hyning '06 Wins Poetry Prize

Release date: March 09, 2006

National Poetry Month poster

Victoria Van Hyning '06 is the winner of Goucher's 2006 Sara deFord Academy of American Poets' Prize.  Victoria has been working on the poems submitted to the Sarah deFord contest for the past year. She hopes to gather them into a larger collection under the title Pilgrim Songs, in the event that she writes more poems within the theme of those submitted. Victoria is grateful to her high school professors who first engaged her in creative writing, her Goucher professors for their guidance in the continuation of that process, and her father who read her many things throughout her life, even when, at times, she stubbornly resisted.  Read one of Victoria's poems below.

The library staff is proud of Victoria's library connections: she is a student employee in Special Collections and Archives, and is also the Word 4 Word Coordinator for this academic year. Word 4 Word is a student creative writing group sponsored by the Kratz Center for Creative Writing and the library.

The Sara deFord Academy of American Poets' Prize submissions were judged by poet Joelle Biele, author of the poetry collection White Summer and of a forthcoming book on Elizabeth Bishop's correspondence with the New Yorker.

The runners-up for the prize are Jordana Frankel '06 and Hanna Badalova '06.  There were nine entries in this year's contest. The winner will receive a prize of $100. 


Winter Sleep
by Victoria Van Hyning

Soft, the first snow comes.
The room's begun to warm awake
slow and sure while I've been gone.

The radiator coming on
gasps and bubbles as it wakes.
Soft, the first snow comes.

My frozen limbs un-numb.
I curl to sleep to drown the ache.
Slowly, surely, I am gone.

Deeper now and growing warm,
Sleeping off my numbered days,
soft, the first snow comes.

I dream myself a nun
whose nightly sleep is broke to pray.
Slow and sure while I've been gone,

my ears have heard the bells' low tone.
My tongue has learned to bless and praise.
Soft, the first snow comes
slow and sure while I've been gone.


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