Two University of Maine at Machias students have won prizes in a system-wide competition hosted by the University of Maine at Augusta. Both are students of UMM Professor Tessa Mellas.
Alondra Candelario, a first year student in Education, placed second for “Our Boulevard,” and Sam Hemenway, a junior in English, Creative Writing, and Book Arts placed third for “Cleft.”
The competition is part of the Terry Plunkett Poetry Festival, which was held Friday, April 21. The students read their poems before the Naomi Shihab Nye reading. Ellen Taylor, the professor who organized the festival said the overall first place winner was UMA student, Zoe Fitzgerald Beckett, who won with a sestina about immigration.
Hemenway wrote his third place poem in a fall workshop, Mellas said. Candelario wrote her poem, a contrapuntal, after she was inspired by visiting poet Crystal Williams’ use of the form at UMM.
The Terry Plunkett Maine Poetry Festival was established in 2002 to honor the memory and accomplishments of Plunkett, an English professor at UMA for nearly thirty years. A poet and fiction writer as well as a teacher and editor, Plunkett helped organize and direct the Maine Poets Festival, a celebration of poets and poetry, which ran from 1976-1983 at UMA, the College of the Atlantic, and the Maine College of Art.