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Undergraduate Robert Eugene Mayes and graduate student Rebecca Lauren won first place in their respective categories in the 2007 Poetry Competition, sponsored by Old Dominion University, the Poetry Society of Virginia and the Academcy of American Poets. Both students won a $100 prize and received a one-year membership to the Academy.

Entries were judged by Jay Paul, who teaches poetry, fiction and prose writing and directs the honors program at Christopher Newport University.

Mayes, a sophomore English major from Norfolk, is an aspiring poet and a dramaturg with the Elizabeth River Theatre Company. His winning entry, "Letter," was described by Paul as "an amazing blend of directions for a recipe, description of a place, revelations of a relationship...In other words, the blend is eventful: all the strains crash down upon the reader at once."

Lauren, a graduate student in the MFA creative writing program, won for her entries "Hagar and Sarai," "Ode to my Grandmother's Missing Arm" and "Sower's Parable." Paul noted: "This writer...has a maturity and a range that promise work well worth reading and collecting."

Other winners included: Janice Lentini, second place/undergraduate division for "Locomotion"; Joshua Sauvageau, third place/undergraduate division for "Evidence"; Lynne Downs, second place/graduate division for "Years later, I try the hard way.", "St. Joseph's Villa" and "Dixie Copper Jet"; and Natalie G. Diaz, third place/graduate division for "Orange Alert", "History's Crib Sheet" and "Why I Don't Mention Flowers When Conversations with My Brother Reach Uncomfortable Silences."

This article was posted on: February 14, 2007

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