Winners of Coe and West scholarships announced

BOONE—The Department of English and the Creative Writing Concentration at Appalachian State University have announced the winners of scholarships awarded for prose and poetry.

Writing poetryFreshman Matthias Kramer from Cary has received the Marian Coe Scholarship in Prose. The scholarship is named in memory of fiction writer Marian Coe.

Kisun Kirkbride, a junior from New Bern, has received the John Foster West Scholarship in Poetry, named in honor of the founder of creative writing at Appalachian.

The winners and finalists were chosen by Dannye Romine Powell, a poet and a journalist whose career at The Charlotte Observer has spanned almost 40 years. The author of five poetry collections, Powell will read March 31, 2016, in Appalachian's Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series.

Marian Coe Scholarship in Prose
Matthias Kramer was selected for the scholarship for "Homecoming," which Powell called "a story of chilling angst, conveyed to the reader in exacting detail."

"Homecoming" is about a student with musical talent but who knows school isn't for him. He wrestles with his feelings of guilt, shame, depression and alienation before choosing to leave school.

"This is a complex story with a nightmarish quality," Powell wrote. "The ending Kramer chose – Martin chooses to leave the school 'not knowing or caring where it would take me' – is inevitable and therefore the only right choice. Hooray for Kramer for this finely wrought story and especially for undertaking such a complex tale of deep and utterly convincing emotion."

Kramer is majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing.

Second place was awarded to Statesville resident and junior English major Victoria Borders for her piece "White Knuckles."

"This story reads like a story in a magazine – smooth, clear, no bumps and starts, no wrong turns," Powell wrote. "I knew I was in strong, authoritative hands at all times. This is a compelling story of a young woman's loss as she experiences the physical and mental decline of a beloved grandfather who raised her. Borders has the ability to weave and combine detail. I chose this story as second place for its complexity of character, for its skillful weaving of detail and feeling, for its subtle transitions and for its wise resolution. Congratulations on a powerful story told with restraint and grace."

Honorable mention went to Sarah Jeter for "Ice Cream at Sal's." Jeter, a junior from Edgerton, Wisconsin, is majoring in English with a creative writing concentration and Spanish.

"I had to choose this story for an honorable mention for the author's ability to evoke atmosphere and for her selection of concrete details to show the protagonist's feelings," Powell wrote. "Congratulations to Jeter for her smooth writing, her ability to create a memorable and sympathetic character and for her skillful evocation of a small town in the summertime."

John Foster West Scholarship in Poetry
Kisun Kirkbride's entries in the poetry competition were "'65 GT," "The White Death" and "Winter Dreamscape." Kirkbride is majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing.

"What delight and what sparkle in '65 GT.' I love it," Powell wrote in her review of Kirkbride's work. "It rolls along, a greased wheel of a poem, roaring toward that wonderful ending, 'I'll bury her out back.' An impressive range in these three poems: humor, as well as a personae poem and also a pantoum (a poem with repeating lines). Crisp, imaginative, evocative."

Second place was awarded to India Raven Moffett, a sophomore studio art major from Lilburn, Georgia, for her poems "Ruminating" and "untitled."

Powell wrote, "I love the voice, the wordplay and the zaniness of these poems, especially
'Ruminating' and 'untitled.' These lines thrill me: 'I painted my nails in class today / chip them to train wreck bits/ on the nicotine shakes.' Excellent ear, too."

About Dannye Romine Powell
Powell's first poetry collection, "At Every Wedding Someone Stays Home," won the Miller Williams First Book Award at the University of Arkansas Press. Her next two collections, "The Ecstasy of Regret" and "A Necklace of Bees," were also published by Arkansas. Her fourth collection, "Nobody Calls Me Darling Anymore," is forthcoming from Press 53. She has won poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the N.C. Arts Council.

Published: Jan 4, 2016 2:19pm