Junior English major Andy Tennant won first place in a national poetry contest this past week. Competing against students in ivy league schools and such, Tennant’s collection of ten poems called “Where You See Angels all Over” won the Edna Meudt Memorial Award from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies.
“My mom has been doing it for a while,” said Tennant, whose mother, Dr. Colette Tennant teaches at Corban. “She wanted me to do the collegiate one.”
Tennant entered the NFSPS poetry contest last year as well and received third place. This year, with careful editing and an improved packet of poems, Tennant worked hard to win the competition.
“I didn’t think i had a very good chance of winning it,” he said. He was quite surprised when he won the contest.
“This is really good news for our school and for our Creative Writing program,” said Dr. Tennant. “He was competing with college students from all over the country and from ivy league schools.”
With editing help from Dr. Tennant and Dr. Jim Hills, Tennant submitted his ten poems of free verse and a short biography to enter the contest. His poems varied in topic, some included death, war and religion.
“A lot of them were about death and war,” Tennant said. “One was about my grandpa in World War II.”
Along with the $500 prize, Tennant gets a small bonus for traveling and invitation to attend the NFSPS convention in Merrillville, Ind. in June, where he will read his poems. His poems will also be published in a book with original art for each poem.
Tennant is excited for the conference in Merrillville, because he also gets to work with three professional poets, who will help to edit his poems at the conference before they are printed.